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First published in 1913 


I DESIRE to express my cordial acknowledgment of 
much help received in the preparation of this book 
from Exmo. Senor Don Guillermo de Osma, the Rev. 
T. C. Dale, and J. Frederick Roberts, Esq., His Britannic 
Majesty's Consul at Barcelona. 

I have also gratefully to acknowledge the courtesy 
of Mr. A. H. Blake, Messrs. J. Laurent y Cia., Madrid, 
and Messrs. Hauser y Menet, Madrid, who have supplied 
the photographs. 



THE QUEENS OF ARAGON . . . , . . .15 
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . .17 







CHAPTER VII . . . 138 









INDEX . 333 


The Palace of King Martin the Humane, Poblet 

Photogravure Frontispiece 


Dona Urraca of Castile, Dona Sibilia de Forcia, Queen of 

Don Pedro IV, and Dona Constanza de Aragon . . 48 

The Convent of Santa Clara, at the back of the Old Palace 

of the Kings of Aragon, Barcelona . 64 

The Aljaferia, Zaragoza : Interior of the Mosque . . 80 

From a photograph by J. Laurent y Cia., Madrid 

La Seo, Zaragoza . . . 128 

From a photograph by Hauser y Menet, Madrid 

Santas Creus : Interior of the Cloister . . .144 

From a photograph by J. Laurent y Cia. , Madrid 

Dona Blanca, Queen of Don Jaime II, and Dona Elisenda 

de Moneada, Queen of Don Jaime II . . .152 

The Aljaferia, Zaragoza : entrance of the Mosque . . 160 
From a photograph by J. Laurent y Cia. , Madrid 

Santas Creus : General view of the Church of the Monastery 1 76 
From a photograph by J. Laurent y Cia. , Madrid 

Seal of Dona Maria of Navarre, Seal of Dona Leonor of 

Sicily, Seal of Don Pedro IV . . . 184 

Poblet: Royal gateway of the Convent . . .192 

From a photograph by J. Laurent y Cia., Madrid 

Courtyard and staircase, Archive de la Corona de Aragon, 

Barcelona . . . ... 208 

From a photograph 



Two windows of the Convent of Santa Clara, Barcelona . 224 
From a photograph 

Poblet : Interior view of the Cloisters . . 256 

From a photograph by J. Laurent y Cia., Madrid 

Don Fernando I, Dona Leonor d'Alburquerque, Courtiers, 

and Prelates . . ... 272 

Interior doorway of Santa Lucia, Barcelona, and Tomb of 

" Mossen Borra " . . ... 304 

From a photograph by J. Laurent y Cia., Madrid 

Absides of La Seo, Zaragoza . ... 320 

From a photograph by J. Laurent y Cia., Madrid 

WHERE is the King Don Juan ? Where 

Each royal prince and noble heir 

Of Aragon ? 

Where are the courtly gallantries ? 

Their deeds of love and high emprise, 

In battle done ? 

Tourney and joust, that charmed the eye, 
And scarf, and gorgeous panoply, 
And nodding plume, 
What were they but a pageant scene ? 
What but the garlands, gay and green, 
That deck the tomb ? 

Where are the high-born dames, and where 

Their gay attire, and jewelled hair, 

And odours sweet ? 

Where are the gentle knights that came 

To kneel and breathe love's ardent flame, 

Low at their feet ? 

Where is the song of Troubadour ? 

Where are the lute and gay tambour 

They loved of yore ? 

Where is the mazy dance of old, 

The flowing robes, inwrought with gold, 

The dancers wore ! 


(Trans. Longfellow). 






THE mediaeval Kingdom of Aragon, which is repre- 
sented on the map of Spain at the present day by the 
provinces of Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel, came into 
existence in 1035, as the very slender portion of a 
younger son bequeathed by Sancho the Great, King 
of Navarre and suzerain of Aragon, to his son Ramiro, 
first King of Aragon. The still smaller lordship of 
Sobrarbe, held by early historians to be the actual 
cradle of the Aragonese dynasty, was at once absorbed, 
on his accession to the throne, into the kingdom which 
took its name from the river which flows, with a tortuous 
and rock-bound course, past the ancient walls of Jaca, 
famous in the early annals of this region of Spain. 
Bounded on the north by the Pyrenees, on the east by 
Catalonia and Valencia, on the south by Valencia, on 
the west by Castile and Navarre, Aragon presents the 
form of a central plain fringed by mountains. This 
natural and formidable barrier against foreign incursion, 
the chain of the Pyrenees attaining its greatest elevation 
to the north of Aragon in the peaks of Aneto, Monte 
Perdido, or Las Tres Sorores, has been at once its 
buckler and its bane. If the bristling lines of its moun- 
tain fastnesses enabled its people to withstand the 

B 17 


Moorish invaders, who were only too willing to leave so 
forbidding a territory to the undisturbed possession of 
the Christian population, yet it is, at the same time, 
to those towering, though protective heights, that 
Aragon is indebted for that lack of moisture which is 
her great misfortune. She is compensated, however, 
for her preponderance of wild and arid countryside, by 
the picturesque and fertile oases which blossom along 
tne banks of her rivers, of which the Ebro is the chief. 
Flowing in a south-easterly direction through the 
province, it receives, from the north, the tributary 
waters of the Arba, Gallego, and Cinca, near whose 
head waters is the district of Sobrarbe. The other 
rivers of Aragon are the Esera, which forms the boundary 
between Aragon and Catalonia, the Noguera Ribagor- 
zana, the Noguera Pallares, and the Segre. From the 
south, the Jalon and Jiloca flow to mingle their waters 
with those of the Ebro, the former flowing by Calatayud, 
famous in antiquity for its swords, whilst its richly 
wooded banks are alternately fringed with orchards 
and olive groves. The Imperial Canal, cut in 1529, 
and the Royal Canal of Tauste, serve to still further 
redeem the arid soil from the brand of sterility. So 
that, here and there, the traveller in Aragon, now, as in 
the infancy of the kingdom of Ramiro I, comes with 
delight and refreshment upon such smiling valleys as 
those of Almunia, where Nature, as one such traveller 
has said, seems to have displayed, upon a carpet of the 
finest verdure, all the treasures of foliage, fruit, and 
flowers, oak, beech, pine, chestnut, juniper, cherry, 
nut, peach, and almond ; or the chain of orchards of 
Borja, Balaguer, and Teruel. In the teeth of discourage- 
ment of drought and extremes of climate, Aragon 
yields rich crops of wheat, saffron, maize, madder, rice, 
liquorice, flax, sumach, oil, and hemp, while the merino 
wool of its pastures still preserves its ancient reputation. 
The mineral wealth of the province includes lead, zinc, 
calamine, lignite, jet, and salt. 
Much of the economic future of his little kingdom, 


however, as well as its future political greatness, was 
certainly hidden from the eyes of its first King, whose 
restless ambition, nevertheless, speedily embarked upon 
that policy of expansion, the romance of which may be 
briefly traced, by way of prelude to the introduction on 
that gradually widening stage whereon the Queens of 
Aragon played their parts. Ribagorza, left to Gonzalo, 
brother of King Ramiro I, was promptly annexed to 
Aragon, while only the alliance of his more fortunate 
brothers, Ferdinand of Castile and Garcia of Navarre, 
saved their kingdoms from the like fate. To the master 
of that little strip of wilderness which was infant 
Aragon, the call of the South must have come with 
peculiar and alluring insistence. It was to come, with 
the final emphasis of fulfilment, many years later, to 
a boy-king whose " long, long thoughts " must often 
have turned, whilst he impatiently awaited his manhood, 
to Valencia, " the Garden of Spain," of which he was 
to be the conqueror. But for Ramiro I, ever with 
sword in hand, the path to the far-off South must be 
hewn through infidel hordes. Death overtook him in 
the midst of his reign-long campaign ; when it came 
to the turn of his son and successor, Sancho Ramirez, to 
lay down the sword which he had wielded no less 
valiantly, the banner of Aragon was planted on the 
banks of the Ebro. The Moors were driven from 
Huesca in the otherwise uneventful reign of Pedro I, 
which came to an end in 1104, when the most brilliant 
epoch of early Aragonese history was inaugurated by 
the accession of Alfonso I, surnamed, for his military 
prowess, El Batallador, or the Warrior. His victorious 
arms swept the Moors for ever from Northern Spain ; 
his conquests led him to those cities of Valencia and 
Lerida, afterwards to be so closely identified with the 
national life of Aragon ; whilst he won from its long 
empire of the Moor the city in which the Kings and 
Queens of Aragon were to be crowned for more than 
300 years, the most august, noble, and loyal city of 
Zaragoza, which became the capital of Aragon in 1118. 


The vastness of his ambitions, however, defeated their 
own ends. By some strange irony, which was certainly 
not cowardice, the victor failed to follow up his con- 
quests, withdrawing his troops from the walls of city 
after city which were well within his grasp. His marriage 
with Urraca, the heiress of Castile and Leon, was the 
crowning irony of all, for it postponed for nearly 400 
years, when to all outward appearance actually accom- 
plished, the union of Aragon and Castile, which was to 
be so gloriously accomplished under Ferdinand and 
Isabella, the former the son of the last Queen of separated 
Aragon. The year 1134 saw the Kingdom of Navarre, 
which had been ruled by the Kings of Aragon since 
1076, pass from their suzerainty, but the loss was more 
than compensated by that notable accession of the 
dynasty of the Counts of Barcelona which was in- 
augurated by the fortunate marriage of Dona Petronilla, 
only daughter of the Monk-King, Ramiro II, and 
Ramon Berenger IV, an alliance which gave to the 
Kingdom of Aragon a seaboard and an expansion of its 
commerce which was to forge mighty links between 
that country and the distant marts of the East. Alfonso 
II, the son of Dona Petronilla, was Duke of Provence 
in 1160 ; in 1172 the Countship of Roussillon was added 
to the Aragonese dominions ; in 1187 Beam and 
Bigorre were its vassals. Pedro II won to his crown 
the Lordship of Montpellier, for which he so basely 
requited the wife who had brought it as her dower. 
Valencia and the Balearic Islands were reserved for 
the trophies of Don Jaime the Conqueror, who laid the 
foundation also of that costly warfare which gave 
Sicily to the crown of Aragon by the marriage of his 
son and successor, Pedro III, to Dona Constanza, 
through whom he was to inherit her rights to that 
island- throne. Don Jaime II secured the Countship of 
Urgel to the Kings of Aragon by the union of his heir, 
afterwards Alfonso IV, with Dona Teresa de Entenza, 
its heiress. Thus the territories and the importance 
of Aragon grew with the passing of the centuries, until 


the proud kingdom saw its existence transformed into 
that of a province, by the marriage, in 1465, of the 
Catholic sovereigns. 

Nor were the people over whom the Kings of Aragon 
were called to rule less diversified in character than the 
regions over which that sway extended. There was 
little else in common between the proud, suspicious, 
reserved Aragonese, and the ardent, impulsive, turbulent, 
adventurous, seafaring Catalans than their sturdy 
independence and their passionate love of liberty. It 
was a quality characteristic, in Aragon, at least, not 
only of the people, but of the aristocracy, that aristoc- 
racy which, as Senor Castelar has said, " fought at all 
times not for power, but for popular liberty/' With 
their neighbours of Castile, who, as another authority 
has said, " rarely meddled with Aragon, though Aragon 
frequently carried their arms into the heart of Castile," 
the sister-kingdom had scarcely a closer relation. ' The 
constitution of Aragon was less popular and more 
liberal " than that of Castile. The office of Justiciary in 
Aragon was the embodiment of that principle expressed 
in the terms of the election of a King of Aragon : " We, 
who are as good as you, choose you for our King and 
lord, provided that you observe our laws and privileges ; 
and if not, not." The Justiciary, who was always a 
knight, and elected by his fellow-citizens, administered 
the coronation oath to the sovereign, who knelt bare- 
headed before him, while the Justiciary held the point 
of his sword against his heart, the King meanwhile 
swearing to respect the rights and liberties of the people. 
This important functionary, whose office was copied 
from the Spanish Mussulman institutions, stood more 
than once, not only between King and subjects, but 
between the King as father and his refractory or perse- 
cuted sons. 

The Parliament of Aragon, representative of the 
Four Estates of the kingdom (the Bicos-Hombres, or 
grandees, who were the greater nobility, the Caballeros, 
including the Infanzones, or lesser knights, and the 



Mesnaderos, descended from the grandees, the Clergy, 
and the Commons), was composed of these four Orders. 
In it, says Mr. Burke, in his History of Spain, " the 
Commons enjoyed higher consideration and greater civil 
privileges than in any other country of mediaeval 
Europe. The veto of a single member, as in the Diet of 
Poland, sufficed to defeat or postpone any measure 
introduced and supported by the most powerful majority 
in the chamber/' The most famous of the charters of 
this powerful assembly were the " General Privilege," 
granted by Pedro III in 1283 at Zaragoza, and that 
known as the " Privilege of Union," which was cut in 
pieces by the dagger of Pedro IV in 1348. Three 
Estates formed the Parliament of Catalonia, where 
serfdom held the people in the hardest bondage until 
the middle of the fifteenth century. 

Side by side with the men who have preserved to the 
present day the national characteristics of stubborn 
and high-spirited conduct, the women of Aragon were 
accorded notable privileges by their lawgivers. Life 
for them, whether of high degree or lowly born, was 
for the most part spent in seclusion. The man was a 
soldier ; or agriculture or commerce had need of him ; 
the woman must be safely bestowed in his long and 
frequent absences ; such was the ideal of woman's 
destiny in those distant days. Thus, Queen or subject, 
they were fitly environed by the well-nigh impregnable 
walls of such fortified cities as Jaca or Huesca, remote 
from fears and forays, training up their sons to bear 
arms, when their turn came, against the hated infidel. 
Woman, it is true, had always been treated with con- 
sideration, even with marked honour, by the Cantabrian 
as well as by the Visigothic laws, but her very privileges 
had been strictly safeguarded in the granting. In 
Cantabrian society, the mother was often regarded as 
the head of the family, her counsels being of grave 
moment in the domestic circle. Among the Visigoths, 
the wife was bought from her parents for the price of 
a dowry, generally fixed at ten men and ten women 


slaves, twenty horses, and a great quantity of jewels 
and apparel, which returned to the husband if the wife 
died without sons or intestate. In Aragon, the woman 
possessed several very striking privileges. 

All Spanish legislation, says a modern writer, except 
the Partidas, borrowed from the Germanic law the 
donation known as arras, the equivalent of the " morning- 
gift " of the Teutonic nations. In Aragon, the dowry 
was of two kinds, the arras and the axovar (of Roman 
origin) or personal property, the chain presented by 
the bridegroom to his bride being known as the " cadena 
exova." The husband's arras, which was fixed at the 
tenth part of his goods, was delivered at the bride's 
house, to her father, brother, or uncle. The dowry of 
an infanzona, or nobly- born woman, was fixed at 
not less than three hereditaments, the free woman's at 
five hundred sueldos, while the peasant woman's was a 
roofed house with twelve beams, a bed, wearing apparel, 
jewels, two fields, two beasts of burden, and implements, 
though some commentators maintain that this dowry 
was not obligatory. If the marriage were dissolved, 
the woman could claim her clothes, jewels, the best bed, 
a horse, two beasts of burden, with their harness, and 
the noble woman, in addition, a silver vessel and a 
female slave. In Catalonia, the obligatory wedding 
presents were a bed, clothes, and ordinary jewels, the 
wedding ring, and gold and silver ornaments. The! 
woman in Aragon could fulfil almost any service, 
^exceptjmilitary ; she could administer property in the 
aFsenceJ^F her husband, her 'jgermission was, indisj- 
pensablejto the legal sale of foa property, and if a lady_ 
oflraSIgjnarried a~man of lower degree, she mkedjnm 
to~TierjDWji. The law studiously protected her from 
ifisuKsT" To roughly handle a woman, or to pluck her 
by her flowing hair, which was the mark of the unmarried 
woman throughout Christian Spain, was to incur the 
penalty of a heavy fine. If a man wounded another in 
the presence of a Queen, he was condemned to furnish 
an apartment for the latter. If a quarrel took place in 


the presence of an infanzona, the offenders were 
compelled to kiss her feet and do homage before twelve 
of their own rank. Sovereign ladies, as we shall see, 
took their undisputed place at their royal husha/nds* 
sjdes.^ in the national. an3~even m the ecclesiastical 
councils, affixing their signatures to edicts and sentences 
as joint assessors with the King. Durin^thejtmnority 
ofan heir, whether to kingdom or couiffisnip, his mother 
"fiot only governed in his name, but frequently assumed 
the style and title of queen or countess regnaritT^^s' 
thoughln her ownlrigh^TwhileSofe than one nobleman, 
in ancient documents, signs himself son of Constance, 
or Sancha, rather than by his father's name. But 
Spanish women, whether Aragonese or Castilian or 
Catalonian, WPTPJTOJ-, pTir/fljmcrp.H., for all their apparent 
freedom, to emerge from the obscurity which was, in 
the opinion of their male relatives, their true sphere. 
Even if, venturing fearlessly, as many of them did, into 
the hazards of war, they won glory by imperishable 
deeds of daring, yet such glory was bestowed upon 
them grudgingly. They might indeed share in their 
lords' fortunes, whether good or ill ; they must not 
claim a separate part. They had less actual liberty to 


No Christian womarTof mediaeval Spain rnigHThope to 
be the rival of all those cultured ladies who, in the days 
of Hixem, King of Andalusia, studied poetry and the 
arts in their garden retreats ; of Lobna, as learned as 
she was lovely, skilled in grammar, verse, arithmetic, 
and other sciences, who wrote, " with singular elegance, 
very fine letters," her accomplishments giving her, we 
are told, a high place in the royal household, the King 
setting great store by her, and entrusting her with all 
his private correspondence, whilst none in the palace 
was her equal for quickness of perception and sweet- 
ness of voice. No King of Aragon, it may safely be 
asserted, would have followed the example of that 
Moorish King who not only bestowed freedom upon the 
beautiful slave, Sadhia, or Happy Star, but married her to 


his son, Alhakem ; this lady, we are told, being " the 
admiration of her times for her verses and histories." 
After her husband's death, Sadhia travelled to the east, 
where she was everywhere honoured for her learning. 
Nor in any royal household of Aragon should we have 
sought and found such a servant as Fatima, daughter 
of Zachary the Zableri, who " wrote to perfection, and 
copied many books for the King." We should have 
looked in vain in Aragon for such a one as that Ayxa, 
daughter of Ahmed ben Muhammad of Cordova, of 
whom it is recorded that " there was no damsel in Spain 
who surpassed her in beauty and in praiseworthy 
manners, nor in discretion and eloquence." She wrote 
eulogies of the Kings and Princes of her day, and was 
commended by all the wise men of her time not only 
for her compositions, but for the beauty of her character. 
Nor wasj^ cities of the_Chmtiau- 

for such jLaehqol as that kept in Seville 

by Maryem^^ho jbaughJetters to the young 
thfijchief families in that city, her nobly born pupils 
gpingjorth from her academy tcHSe the ornaments and 
deEgETol the Moorish palaces/ r 

Yet the ideal which has come down to us in that code 
which is known as the " Partidas " of Alfonso X of 
Castile, who devoted a chapter of his famous work to 
instructions for the governesses of the Infantas, is not 
an ignoble one. They were doubtless no less applicable 
to those who had the training of the Princesses of 
Aragon, one of whom became the consort of the learned 

' They are to endeavour," says the royal lawgiver, 
" as much as may be, that the Kings' daughters be 
moderate and seemly in eating and drinking, and also 
in their carriage and dress, and of good manners in all 
things, and especially that they be not given to anger, 
for besides the wickedness that lieth in it, it is the 
thing in the world that most easily leadeth to women to 
do ill. And they ought to teach them to be handy in 


performing those works that belong to noble ladies ; 
for this is a matter that becometh them much, since 
they obtain by it cheerfulness and a quiet spirit ; and 
besides, it taketh away bad thoughts, which it is not 
convenient they should have/' 


THE Kingdom of Aragon existed independently for 444 
years, from 1035 to 1479. Within that period twenty 
Kings wore the crown which Ramiro I had entwined 
before his death with fleuron after fleuron wrested from 
Christian kinsmen and Moorish foes. The ladies, almost 
all of noble, nearly all of royal birth, who bore the title 
of Queen of Aragon were twenty-six in number. It is 
from the densest mists of mediaeval history that we 
must summon these Queens of the past, and we shall 
often find ourselves baffled in our quest for the truth 
about them ; yet, for English readers, it may be that 
the merest outlines of the story of the Queens of that 
ancient kingdom which once gave a noble Consort to 
the English throne, will not prove altogether devoid of 

Dona Munia Mayor, Dona Nuna, or Elvira Mayor, 
as she is variously designated in history, Countess of 
Castile in her own right and Queen of Navarre by 
marriage, cannot, strictly speaking, be numbered amongst 
the illustrious ladies who give their name to this volume ; 
yet, as Countess of Aragon, and standing as she does 
midway between them and their oddly named prede- 
cessors the Visigothic Queens, Placidia, Theudicoda, 
Clodosinda, Labigotona, Cixilona, Hilduara, and In- 
gundis, she merits some allusion by way of prelude to 
their introduction. Eldest daughter of Sancho Garcia 
III of Navarre and of his Queen, Urraca, the premature 
death of her younger brother, Garcia Sanchez, left her 
sole heiress of Navarre, Castile, and Aragon, the latter 
not yet advanced to its eventual sovereign rank. 
Bestowed in marriage upon Sancho the Great, the first 



King of Spain, says Lafuente, to style himself Emperor, 
bride and bridegroom were as nobly matched in character 
as in lineage. Sancho has been justly described as one 
of the most glorious and important persons of the drama 
of his native country, though a worthy history of his 
exploits, both as soldier and statesman, has yet to be 
written. Much uncertainty broods, in consequence, 
about his memory and his deeds, nor can we any more 
clearly discern the noble and queenly figure of his con- 
sort. The tradition has long since been disproved 
which traces the rise of Aragon from countship to king- 
dom to a romantic and nearly tragic episode in her life. 
Relegated in more sober times to the domain of mere 
legend, it leaves Dona Munia unsullied by the least 
stain upon her memory. That her honour was impugned 
by her own sons, during the temporary absence of her 
husband from his dominions, that her defence was 
thereupon chivalrously undertaken and her innocence 
triumphantly attested, by the illegitimate son of Sancho, 
afterwards the first King of Aragon, a title bestowed 
upon him by his father at Dona Munia 's grateful request, 
has all been dismissed by serious modern historians as 
stupid fable. 

Sancho the Great, according to the most trustworthy 
evidence, married, first, a lady named Caia, of the lord- 
ship of Ayvar, in Navarre, who was the mother of 
Ramiro. Dona Munia Mayor was a second wife, and 
the mother of Sancho 's three other sons, Garcia, 
Fernandez, and Gonzalez, all of whom became kings. 
Stripped of that one disproven episode in her history, 
our knowledge of Dona MumVs life is of the most 
meagre quality. She is pictured for us by an old 
chronicler, at the passing of the great King, who died in 
1034, " in the midst of his domains, supported by his 
wife and sons, and by his servants, a natural and a 
Christian end." The widowed Queen survived her hus- 
band for many years, retiring to her estates in Castile, of 
which she was the last .Sovereign Countess, and over 
which she continued her suzerainty. Her place of 


residence is generally supposed to have been Fromesta, 
whence, however, she appears to have emerged at inter- 
vals to be an honoured guest at the courts of her two 
sons, that of Garcia at Pampeluna, and of Fernandez, 
who adorned the throne of Castile with exceptional 
virtues. In 1046, she was certainly present at the 
granting, in the Navarrese capital, of royal benefactions 
to the Monastery of St. Coloma by King Garcia and 
his Queen, Estefania of Barcelona. The document in 
question concludes with the words, " Before the wit- 
nesses present and my mother, the Queen, Dona Mayor." 
Again, in a similar connection, she signs immediately 
after the King, styling herself " Mayor, surnamed Munia, 
mother of the King." In a donation to the shrine of 
St. Isidore of Leon, by Fernandez and his Queen, 
Sancha, the day following the translation of the body of 
the saint, in which was included the famous Crucifix, 
the most precious of all the treasures of that royal 
fane, Dona Munia signs as " I, Mayor, servant of Christ, 
daughter of Count Sancho." Her will, made when she 
was at an advanced age, bears her signature in the 
following form, " I, Mayor, slave of Christ, daughter 
of Count Sancho," the witnesses being the Bishops of 
Burgos and Palencia and the Abbot Miro, her chief 
benefactions were to the Monastery of St. Martin of 
Fromesta ; her grave she chose to make with her 
ancestors, the Counts of Castile, in the Monastery of 
San Salvador at Ona. " So great a Queen, mother and 
grandmother of so many Kings," as she has been styled, 
is not unworthy, then, to usher in the long line of the 
Queens of Aragon. 

About half of their number stand out with romantic 
emphasis from the rest, concerning whom contemporary 
history is for the most part silent. Their names (and 
even those, sometimes in doubt), their ancestry, a few 
meagre and unimpressive details of incidents in which 
they took no more important a part than that usually 
assigned to the " super," that, and scarcely more, is all 
which has come down to us. 


They lived, it may be, in scenes too much astir with 
weightier matters to permit of the chronicler's diversion, 
even by the spell of beauty on a throne, from his supreme 
task of recording the exploits of brave men. That the 
place which the majority of them held in the esteem and 
affection of their royal lords was not an invariably 
exalted one, may be gathered from the fact that on four 
occasions only during four centuries is there mention 
and description of the coronation of a Queen of Aragon. 
Once or twice, indeed, as in the case of the luckless 
Urraca, who in the first place was Queen of Castile, 
their appearances upon the stage of their adopted 
nation's history inevitably suggest the leap of a sword 
from its scabbard. But for the most part, they move 
behind a veil, fragrant with the scent of flowers seques- 
tered as themselves, antique harvests that blossomed for 
their pleasure in royal garden oases of a sterile soil a 
veil that reminds us that if " the Christian Spain of 
seven centuries' Moorish domination had separated itself 
by an implacable hatred from their Moorish invaders," 
yet the sinister shadow of the infidel attitude towards 
women had not failed insidiously to affect the fates of 
even crowned heads. It is not to be forgotten, it is true, 
that, on the one hand, " the Aragonese possessed a 
greater share of individual liberty than any people in the 
Peninsula," and that, on the other, the Queens of Chris- 
tain Spain " presided with their husbands in the Cortes, 
the councils, and the tribunals of justice, and that not 
as mere spectators, or auditors, but as judges, as exer- 
cising, on some occasions at least, a conjoint authority, 
and signing like their consorts the public instruments. 
Thus, Elvira presided with Alfonso V in the national 
Council of Leon, thus Sancho el Mayor, in the diploma 
by which he erected the Bishopric of Pampeluna, 
declares that he does so with the assistance and by the 
consent of his Queen, and thus Ramon Berenger of 
Barcelona issues a decree conjointly with his consort, 
Adelmodis." Aragon, however, was from the first cast 
in sterner mould than those sister kingdoms with which 


she was so often at war. The passion for liberty which 
was characteristic of her people in a peculiar degree 
made them suspicious of its extension, except stringently 
safeguarded, to their women. Once, and once only, in 
their strenuous history, they called a woman-child to 
rule over them, but they called her from a cradle, and 
they gave her, with her crown, a strong man, almost old 
enough to have been her father, to teach her queenship. 
If they could be loyal to the wives of their sovereigns' 
choosing, and even learn to love them well, yet no Moor 
of all their hated invaders ever watched over his harem 
with greater vigilance than the Aragonese over the very 
amusements of their Queens, as the French wife of Juan 
II was to learn to her cost. Thus, there is more in 
common than at first sight appears between these 
Queens of a bygone world and the land over which they 
reigned as consorts of its Kings. That towering Pyrenean 
guard and barrier which encompassed both kingdom 
and Queens, towards whose snow-clad peaks they gazed 
from the terraces of their palace without the gates of 
Zaragoza, or, in earlier days, from the frowning fortress 
of Jaca, was a symbol, surely, which has outlived them 
and their greatness, of that stern, repressive code which 
hedged their way, for all its splendour, with irksome 
thorns. Whilst they themselves, upon whom, as the 
borders of Aragon widened to the farthest shores of the 
Mediterranean, the marts of the East delighted to lavish 
all that inspired looms could fashion of fairy fabrics fit 
to clothe their state, stand as surely for those green oases 
and enchanted valleys of Avalon, which have evoked the 
rapturous and unstinted praise of successive travellers 
amongst the barren heights and frowning passes with 
which they alternate. Their lives hovered on, if they 
did not always overpass, the border-line of tragedy. 
Their days were vibrant with the clash of arms, or of 
family feuds ; their nights too often dark with the doom 
of desertion. Their children were cradled, for the most 
part, in the lap of war, whilst to the cloister many of 
them turned from a throne with gladness, finding there. 


in life as in death, their only abiding anchorage. Of 
the burdens laid upon them, and inevitable to their 
rank, they acquitted themselves now well, now ill. To 
their history we may turn for graphic illustrations of 
the wicked stepmother of immemorial tradition. But 
to that same source, also, we may look, and not in vain, 
for the ideal regent and states woman, and find her in 
Maria of Castile, the noble, grave, and self-effacing 
mother of her people, faithful wife of faithless husband, 
and no less faithful steward of careless sovereign. As 
mothers, the Queens of Aragon were for the most part 
worthy ; it was a mother's dream fulfilled of the last of 
them all that gave peace and unity to Spain under the 
sway of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. 
And if these crowned and anointed ladies of the olden 
time were kept as it were with mailed fist in the back- 
ground of the age to which they belonged, an age in 
which the Court of Aragon shared with Italy and the 
southern kingdoms of Europe the high repute of centres 
of civilization and refinement, yet poetry at least 
blossomed round their path as it has never blossomed 
before or since. For that " brilliant existence of three 
centuries," which was the term of the glories of the 
troubadours, was contemporary with the lives of many of 
the Queens of Aragon. That tide of song which flowed 
from Aries to Barcelona in the wake of Dulce of Provence, 
and swept onward to the cultured Court of Aragon when 
it called Ramon Berenger to be the husband of the 
child-Queen, Petronilla, broke in sweetest surges at the 
feet of those who came after her. When the veil lifts 
upon these Queens, it is drawn aside more than once by 
grateful and adoring troubadours, who sing the praises 
of a beauty and a virtue to which their nearest and 
dearest were too often insensible. 

Queenship of Aragon was no less queenship of the 
Courts of Love, which Barcelona framed on the model 
of Toulouse. One of the Queens of Aragon at least, 
Maria of Castile, had a famous troubadour, the cynical 
Jaime Koig, for her physician ; Jorge de Manrique, 



again, has set some of the joys and splendours of their 
Court to music in his coplas. Whether there were 
actually amongst their ranks royal rivals to Clara of 
Anduza, Tiborge de Montausier, or Gormonde de Mont- 
pellier, who sat in the Courts of Love, and were able 
themselves to reply to the verses of which they were the 
inspiration, is unknown, though the mother of Maria 
de Luna, Queen of Martin the Humane, Brianda 
d'Agouth, a noble Proven$al lady, was a notable 
moving spirit in the romance movement of her day. If 
there had been Queens' canzones, we may well picture 
them falling from the lips of such as the Queen of Juan II, 
that Yolande of Bar who was Violante of Aragon, or 
from those of that Leonor of Castile to whom Armand 
Plagues offered a chanso. Be that as it may, more than 
one of these Queens must have stood to many a wander- 
ing poet of their day for that " Hose fresh and fair " of 
which one of the troubadours sang. If the Queens of 
Aragon were often but slight things in the minds and 
memories of their lords, they were crowned with garlands 
woven of that " beautiful flower which sprang up on a 
sterile soil," that pallid star which set too soon in the 
sea of blood that bears the name of the Albigensian 
Crusade ; the story of the Queens of Aragon and that 
of the troubadours are inseparably interwoven. While 
the infidel thundered at their palace gates, they listened, 
with the heroic composure bred of a long heredity of 
familiarity with war, while their poets " made brave 
songs wonderfully well." These Queens are the peers of 
Eleonore of Aquitaine, of Ermengarda of Narbonne, of 
Maria de Ventadorn, of Marie, Comtesse de Champagne, 
the Comtesse de Die, and a score of other fair " un- 
knowns," whose fame was written, in such hieroglyphs 
as "Fair Hope" and " Better-than-Good," in the 
hearts of their songster-servants. 

The nationalities of the Queens of Aragon were as 
diverse as their destinies. Portugal, Castile, Navarre, 
Anjou, Sicily, and Cyprus gave brides to the Kings of 
Aragon, while more than once the great houses of the 


little kingdom which has long since merged its identity 
in that of united Spain were drawn more closely to the 
throne of which they were the masterful vassals by the 
elevation of a daughter or a sister to that perilous 

Attended, then, by their minstrel train, set in the 
lonely or the lurid light that plays upon the page which 
bears their names, they move across the stage on which 
they played their parts. We know but little of most of 
them ; of some, we may desire, though in vain, to have 
" more knowledge " ; of the greater number, we may 
say, with apt and compassionate homage, " after life's 
fitful fever, she sleeps well/' 

Passing from themselves to their environment, it is in 
the ancient city of Jaca that we are to picture the earliest 
Queens of Aragon holding their court at their husbands' 
side, for here, until the extension of its borders, was the 
capital of Aragon. 

The " most noble, most loyal and victorious city " of 
Jaca, with its memories of the womanly prowess that 
saved its fortunes and gave the heads of four Moorish 
kings as quarters to its shield at the battle of Las 
Tiendas, had twofold compensation for its perilous 
position as a frontier town and its frowning towers. It 
was within a day's journey of the famous Monastery of 
San Juan de la Pena, the hallowed Escorial of the Bangs 
of Aragon, and it stood, as it does to-day, amid scenery 
unrivalled for majestic beauty. Close at hand are 
forests of pine and oak, alternating with barren peaks, 
verdant meadows, and leaping water, falling from 
immense heights, and beckoning to grim defiles, " all 
contributing," as one pilgrim has written, " to the 
impression which they make upon the traveller from 
central Spain, who finds himself here transplanted to a 
new and unknown world." 

These walls, now blackened with age, and crumbling 
into ruins, these ancient houses that fling their 
shadow of the past on the quiet streets, these bal- 


conies and gateways that seem to beckon the stranger 
on to antique adventure, still breathe the spirit of 
defiance and security which befitted the capital of a 
young kingdom that was to win its way to greatness by 
the sword. Here, Ramiro I brought his bride, Gisberga, 
or Ermesinda, or Gelberda, as her name is differently 
recorded, daughter of Bernard Roger, Count of Bigorre, 
" a lady of great beauty," as the chroniclers of her time 
unanimously declare. Jaca was the birthplace of her 
four children Sancho Ramirez, his father's successor, in 
whose affections the hill-city of his birth held a place 
apart ; Garcia, who became its Bishop ; and two daugh- 
ters, Teresa and Sancha, who became respectively 
Countesses of Provence and Toulouse. In these alliances, 
we may trace the beginnings of those ties which were to 
draw Aragon and the south of France very close together 
in after centuries, by a bond of which the links were at 
once social, literary, and romantic. 

Some writers mention, without, however, giving any 
further details, the name of a third daughter, Urraca, 
stating that this Princess was consecrated, at a very 
early age, to the service of God, in the famous Convent 
of Santas Cruz de las Sorores, of the Benedictine rule, 
which had been founded in the tenth century near Jaca, 
and which was to prove, for more than six centuries, " a 
shelter of innocence and an ark of refuge wherein the 
widows of the Royal House were to find a safe retreat 
from their sorrows." Here, if the witness of their quaint 
and interesting tomb is to be believed, the child nun was 
eventually joined by her two elder sisters, Sancha, who 
married Guillaume III, surnamed Taillefer, of Toulouse, 
and was left a widow in 1045, and Teresa, who became 
the wife of Guillen Bertran of Provence, and was widowed 
in 1049, and who, in her father's will, was nominated 
his successor in the event of the failure of issue to his 
sons, Sancho and Gonzalo. On the tomb referred to, 
the three royal sisters are depicted, one as a mere child, 
in the simple fashion of the dress of their times, the 
flowing inner garment covered by the voluminous 


mantle, bordered with precious stones, but above all, in 
point of interest, wearing the curious, mitre-shaped 
head-dress of the period, consisting of an under-coif with 
pleated edges, covered by a second, resembling a Phrygian 
or Catalan cap, the flat point falling over, like that of a 
nightcap. These mitres, which are said to have been 
introduced into Spain by Beatrice of Suabia, Queen of 
Ferdinand the Saint of Castile, though other authorities 
assign to them an Oriental origin, were made of an 
incredible amount sometimes as much as fifty yards 
of material, and were usually fastened under the chin 
of the wearer by a ribbon or band known as the bar- 
buquejo, which was sometimes simply folded, sometimes 
pleated or fluted. It is interesting in this connection to 
recall the note, made during his travels in the East in 
the early part of the eighteenth century, of a distin- 
guished etymologist, who speaks of " the brides of 
Bedouin princes " wearing silver, mitre-shaped head- 
dresses, with a black silk veil pendent from them, 
edged with pearls and precious stones. 

Huesca, a rival in point of antiquity, massive walls, 
ancTpicturesque surroundings, to Jaca, shared with the 
latter the residential favour of the Kings of Aragon 
before the recovery of Zaragoza from the Moors. A 
college now marks the site of the ancient palace occupied 
by the royal household on the occasions of their visits 
to Huesca. As Jaca was within easy distance of San 
Juan de la Peiia, so was Huesca within even closer reach 
of another royal monastery, that of Monte-Aragon, 
which was the burial-place of Alfonso the Warrior. 
Within the former, Queen Gisberga, who died December 
1, 1049, was laid to rest. A second Queen, whose name 
was Inez, has been assigned by some early historians 
to Ramiro I, but her existence is almost certainly 
mythical. Ramiro survived his consort, Dona Gisberga, 
for many years, dying, as he had lived, sword in hand, 
May 8, 1063, whilst besieging Grao, a famous stronghold 
of the Moors, and at war, at the same time, with his 
kinsmen of Navarre and Castile. 


The second Queen of Aragon was Felicia, whose 
father was Armengol of the illustrious House of Urgel, 
famous in battle against the Moors, and who laid down 
his life, in his son-in-law's wars, at Barbastro. The 
beauty and virtue of the young Queen, it is said, were 
regarded as of " happy augury," no less than her name, 
" for the kingdom and the royal house." Like the 
married life of her mother-in-law, Queen Gisberga, and 
many another who came after them, that of Queen 
Felicia was chequered by the ceaseless shock of battle 
in which her husband was engaged throughout his 
reign. Her name emerges but rarely from the claustral 
seclusion of silence. Her influence, however, we may 
gather, was invariably on the side of her people's good, 
whilst more than once her signature, appearing con- 
jointly with her consort's, in documents confirming a 
royal benefaction to a monastery, proves that it was 
also on the side of the Church. From the marriage 
of the second King and Queen of Aragon sprang three 
sons, who became in succession Kings of Aragon 

It is uncertain whether Queen Felicia lived to witness 
all the triumphs of her husband's arms, pushed forward 
against the Moors throughout his reign, or the winning 
of Barbastro, Monzon, and Alquezar from the infidel, 
and the laying under tribute of the Moorish King of 
Huesca, which were all notable events of his rule. 
The warlike sovereign married, as his second wife, 
Philippa, only daughter and heiress of Guillaume IV, 
Count of Toulouse, and his second wife, Emma de 
Mortain ; but the life of this Queen of Aragon belongs 
essentially to the history of the famous Guillaume IX, 
Duke of Aquitaine, to whom she was united, it is said, 
within six months of the death of Sancho Eamirez, the 
marriage being in every way, as the old chroniclers 
assure us, more suitable than the preceding one, the 
King of Aragon having been her senior by many years, 
while the Troubadour Duke was but a few years older, 
a cultured gentleman as well as a gallant soldier. 


Sancho Ramirez died June 4, 1094, whilst besieging 
Huesca, after extracting from his son and successor, 
Pedro I, a solemn promise not to quit the walls of the 
city until he had reduced it to submission, a promise 
which was faithfully kept until the fall of the city two 
years after. 

Before passing on to the fuller details of the lives of 
the later Queens, it will be of interest briefly to pass in 
review " the habit as they lived " of Queens Gisberga 
and Felicia, to glean some outline of the simple, yet 
often sumptuous garments in which they looked well to 
the ways of their households, or rode abroad in days 
when no journey was without danger of capture by the 
ever-present Moorish invader. Nowhere else in history 
is it possible to turn more enchanting pages of fashion 
and domestic usages than in that of Spain, which owed, 
as few other nations have ever done, so much to the 
cosmopolitan incursions of royal brides and their 
attendant trains. 

Linen was largely used at this date in Spain. From 
the invaluable researches of the Count of Clonard in 
ancient documents of the period, we learn that there 
were two qualities of this material in common use ; one 
known as byssine, employed for veils, tunics, albs, 
chasubles, and frontals ; whilst that of an inferior 
quality was used for sheets, tablecloths, cloaks, altar 
curtains, and garments in general. The latter were 
frequently adorned with gold fringes, and we may 
gather from ancient authorities on the subject that 
early Spanish linen was not only white, but of various 
colours. The industry was a natural one, says the 
Count of Clonard, in Spain, where mediaeval documents 
contain frequent mention of the cultivation of flax and 
hemp, and allusion to the measurement of linen by the 
yard. The underwear of Queen Gisberga and Queen 
Felicia would be of the finest quality. Silk, which was 
common in Spain from the ninth century, would be 
employed for their sayas, their tunics, with their linings 
of fur, known as pellotes, over which, on gala days, they 


would wear mantles of pall, fastened with golden 
fermails. The floating veil, which was a distinctive 
mark of royal ladies in ancient Spain, would flow 
gracefully from beneath their crowns. 

When they rode abroad, or were borne in their litters, 
they wore their sumptuous fur pelisses, a garment which 
had become a necessity for those who had been driven 
by the encroachments of the luxurious Moors to seek 
refuge in the mountain fastnesses of the inclement 
north of Spain. 

A long list of skins of animals were at the disposal of 
gentle and simple alike in that wild and ideal hunting 
country. The melote or zamarra (sheepskin dress), 
first worn by the poorer classes, was probably the 
original form of the pelisse. From the ninth century, 
persons of higher rank wore this garment buttoned 
down the front, with tight sleeves, some however being 
open from waist to knee, made of more or less expensive 
furs, according to the means of the wearer. Squirrel, 
fox, deer, hare, coney, lynx, wild cat, otter, and goat 
were pressed into service, over and above the more 
regal ermine, minever, sable, while mantles of alfaneque 
(down from the breast of the Barbary falcon) are 
frequently mentioned. Furs are often alluded to in 
wills of the period. Guisla, Countess of Cerdana, orders 
her two pelisses, one of sable, the other of ermine, to be 
sold on her death. " A certain woman named Sinner 
or Suner " bequeaths a pelisse to her servant. Alfaneque, 
which was probably used for trimming, as swansdown 
at a later date, figures in the dower of Munia Dona, wife 
of Assur Gomez, who, declaring that he takes her to 
wife " as much for the love he bears her as with the 
consent of her parents and kinsfolk," bestows upon her, 
amongst other bridal gifts, " a horse with silver harness 
and bit " and " a skin of alfaneque." 

Passing from the personal to the household mobilier, 
it would be a mistake to suppose that, although the 
Christian population of Spain had been driven back by 
the wave of Moorish invasion upon the stern and circurn- 


scribed area of the territory left to them by their 
invaders, the former were therefore altogether strangers 
to the graces and comforts of life with which the 
alien peoples of Southern Spain surrounded them- 
selves at this date. Kings and nobles, it is true, lived 
shut up in their fortress-castles, within fortified walls, 
where, sword in hand, they were ever on the alert for 
the call to arms. Bristling watch-towers took the place 
of watered gardens and secluded patios, whence the 
scent of lime and orange and oleander floated in to hall 
and alcove through lace-like lattices. But within the 
houses of the Aragonese there was beginning to be some 
show of that taste for the refinements of daily life which 
was to find its full expression, two centuries later, in a 
luxury unparalleled in Europe save in the Courts of 
mediaeval Italy and the East. Furniture, we are told, 
was heavy, sparingly decorated ; chairs were of two 
kinds, some of " scissors " or folding shape, others with 
arms, reserved for the head of the family. State chairs 
or thrones, for kings and bishops, of this character, were 
usually placed on a dais, with a dorsal or curtains at 
the back. Stools and benches were provided for persons 
of less distinction, women generally sitting on cushions 
on the floor. Beds were only for the wealthy. These 
were well provided with mattresses, bolsters, pillows, 
sheets, and counterpanes, a curious adjunct to their 
furnishing being a ladder, usually of silver, for climbing 
up into the bed ! This fashion of high bedsteads seems 
to have persisted to a later date in Spain, for Ford, 
writing in 1869, alludes to the loftiness of the Leonese 
beds. Silver ladders, however, were not restricted to 
use in the bedroom. That sprightly seventeenth-century 
voyager, the Comtesse d'Aulnoy, writes of forty silver 
ladders in the inventory of the then Duke of Albu- 
querque, " for climbing his sideboard, made in grades 
like an altar in a spacious hall." 

As the mediaeval bedstead was the most imposing 
object in the room of the lord or lady in the Middle 
Ages, so was its furnishing manifold and sumptuous. 


Over it stretched the canopy almocalla or almuzala 
poetically signifying, " haven of refuge from all winds " ; 
behind it, the parament or dorsal. On it were placed 
mattress, pillows, bolster, for use at night, cushions 
being provided for the daytime, when the bed was 
utilized as a couch or state seat. The linen sheets were 
either plain, or exquisitely embroidered in silk or gold 
thread, while every possible product of the loom was 
pressed into service for the counterpane, leather lined 
with cloth being the favourite form of winter coverlets. 
The alfajara was the magnificent counterpane or 
bed-spread for great occasions ; this was frequently 
made of pall, signifying in general any rich cloth, 
but, in the case of the mediaeval bed-covering, pos- 
sibly further enriched with gold embroidery and 

Tables were spread with linen tablecloths, some authori- 
ties maintaining that the finger-napkin was not unknown. 
Vessels of gold, silver, copper, wood, ivory, and marble, 
with handles and without, dishes called greal, gradal, or 
garal, crescent-shaped candelabra, horn goblets, silver 
and crystal lamps, wooden chests with ironwork locks, 
caskets of silver-gilt, set with precious stones, the 
ewer and basin, with its accompanying towels, the 
earthenware footbath, are all enumerated in early 
inventories of Christian Spain, together with such 
homelier items as pails, frying-pans, cauldrons, kneading- 
troughs, spits, braziers, mortar and pestles, pothooks 
and pitchers. 


Duration of the separate Kingdom of Aragon, 1035 to 1479. 

Dona Munia Mayor and its origin, 1035 to 1056. 

Moorish influence on position of women in Aragon. 

Authority and influence of Queens in Cortes and Councils. 

Their environment. Their connection with the troubadours. 

Nationalities of the Queens of Aragon. 

Their early Courts. 

Marriage of Ramiro I and Gisberga or Ermesinda of Bigorre, 1036. 


Their daughters and their destinies. 

Death of Dona Gisberga, 1049. 

Death of Don Ramiro, 1063. 

Dona Felicia, second Queen of Aragon. 

Dona Philippa of Toulouse, third Queen of Aragon. 

Death of her husband, Don Sancho Ramirez, 1094. 

Dress, furniture, and domestic utensils of the period. 



WHEN the crown of Aragon fell upon the brow of Pedro I 
at the death of his father, Sancho Ramirez, it was a call 
to arms. Zaragoza, in whose Christian cathedral the 
Kings and Queens of Aragon were yet to be crowned 
with a pomp that has rarely, if ever, been equalled in 
the history of royal ceremonial, still owned the sway of 
a Moorish emir, and thence, reinforced from all quarters, 
the invaders were gathering, as though with a last, 
united determination, to strike a final blow at the 
valiant little kingdom they were beginning to fear. In 
the midst of his ceaseless wars, it is said that there came 
a brief and brilliant truce, in which Pedro found time 
to celebrate his marriage with an Italian lady named 
Berta ; of the fourth Queen of Aragon we know no more 
than this. Doubt is cast upon her very existence, 
moreover, by the fact that on several occasions the 
signature of the Countess Sancha, aunt of the King, 
appears, conjointly with her royal nephew, on documents 
of the period. This most shadowy Berta ushers in a 
more imposing and arresting figure, Queen of Castile as 
well as of Aragon, luckless alike in name and fortune, 
Urraca, the stormy petrel of mediaeval Spain. 

Around few figures in history does the traditional 
light which beats upon a throne play more fiercely than 
around that of the fifth Queen of Aragon. The judicial 
and unprejudiced mind of Lafuente sees in that " tur- 
bulent, ill-omened, and calamitous, and mournfully 
celebrated reign," " a fatal episode which we should 
efface with good will from the historic pages of our 



country." ' We should dismiss such reigns," says 
another historian, " from the series which constitute 
our national history." All that have ever attempted to 
tell her story, range themselves into one or other of the 
two camps, hostile or friendly, into which their separate 
conclusions inevitably drive them. What was the 
truth of her ? The voluptuous termagant ? Or the 
wronged and religious Queen ? Victim, or evil genius ? 
Who shall decide ? 

The life of Urraca of Castile opened auspiciously 
enough, as the only issue of the second marriage of 
Alfonso VI, King of Leon and Castile, of Toledo and 
Galicia, Emperor of the Spains, surnamed the Brave 
and the Great (himself the second son of the noble 
sovereigns Fernando I and Sancha of Castile), with 
Constance of Burgundy, styled in Spanish history " the 
first Christian Queen of Toledo," a Princess of the blood- 
royal of France, daughter of Robert, Duke of Burgundy, 
and of the Duchess Elie, granddaughter of Robert the 
Pious, King of France, and his consort, Constance of 
Provence, whose name was borne by the Queen of 
Castile. Valiant as soldier and fortunate as statesman, 
Alfonso VI is further famous in history for his many 
marriages. Out of the clouds of confusion that obscure 
the names and identities of his six consorts the following 
may probably be accepted as the correct list : Inez, 
daughter of Guillaume, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of 
Poitou, married in 1074 and repudiated in 1077 ; 
Ximena Munoz, whose marriage was annulled after the 
birth of her two daughters, Teresa and Elvira ; Con- 
stance of Burgundy ; Berta, the repudiated wife of 
Henry IV, Emperor of Germany ; Zaida, a Moorish 
convert ; and Isabel, or Elizabeth, a French Princess. 

Separated by Papal decree from Ximena Munoz, to 
whom he was tenderly attached, Alfonso, who seems 
never to have left the throne of his Queen-consort long 
vacant, began, with his third marriage, the long series of 
royal international alliances of Spain with other coun- 
tries, alliances which, as we shall see, were to have far- 


reaching consequences in matters alike of faith and 
fashion. The reputation of Constance of Burgundy for 
beauty and devoutness had apparently preceded her to 
Spain. She was already a widow, after a very brief 
married life, her first husband having been Hugo II, 
Comte de Chalons, a Prince of the Sovereign House of 
the Counts Palatine of Burgundy, when the ambassador 
of Alfonso, Peter, Abbot of Tours, sought her hand on 
behalf of his royal master. Her portrait, painted by 
contemporary chroniclers, depicts her as " a Princess 
of singular accomplishments, much piety, beauty, and 
extraordinary prudence, greatly beloved by her consort, 
who styled her in national records Most noble Princess 
of the Royal House of France, Empress, and First 
Christian Queen of Toledo." Scarcely arrived in 
Burgos, whither she was conducted by Alfonso directly 
after the solemnization of their marriage, the new 
Queen expressed herself in terms of pious horror regard- 
ing the lax state of the Church in Spain. At her earnest 
entreaty, a Council was held in the city, presided over 
by Richard, Abbot of Marseilles, as Papal Legate, at 
which numerous ecclesiastical reforms were enacted, 
amongst them the discontinuance of the Mozarabic 
ritual, and the use of the Roman ritual. The episode in 
Spanish history with which the name of Constance is 
chiefly connected, however, is that which links her with 
the Cathedral of Toledo. Converted by the Moors into 
their great mosque, this edifice had been granted to the 
conquered invaders by Alfonso VI, with liberty to 
continue their worship therein ; but, during the King's 
absence, Constance, incited by the Archbishop, Bernard 
of Cluny, whom she had brought in her train from France, 
seized the mosque and consecrated it anew to Christian 
worship. This violation of his oath to the Moors was 
regarded by the King as an offence which he was pre- 
pared to visit, both on his consort and the too zealous 
prelate, with extreme penalties, had not the Moors 
themselves interceded for both Queen and Archbishop. 
About 1080, the birth took place of the only child of 


the marriage of Alfonso VI and Constance of Burgundy. 
The Bang had ardently desired a son, having only two 
daughters by his previous union with Ximena Munoz. 
The name which was bestowed upon the new-born 
Princess, that of Urraca, had already been borne by 
several ladies of her House, in Leon, Castile, and 
Portugal, the most famous holder of it having been that 
Urraca, Lady of Zamora, whose desperate resistance of 
her brother Sancho's forces before the walls of her city 
domain created the national proverb, " Zamora was 
not taken in an hour." The name Urraca, of pure 
Arabic meaning, signifying " brilliant in colour," was a 
common one in Castile, and was applied, says Richard 
Ford quaintly, " equally to a delicious pear in Galicia 
and to a chattering pie ! " Urraca of Castile was left 
motherless when she was probably a very few years old. 
Her mother's place was quickly filled by that beautiful 
Zaida, who became Isabel on her conversion from the 
faith of the Moors, and was the real romance of her much- 
married husband's life. She became the mother of his 
long-desired and idolized son, Sancho, in 1096. In 
accordance with mediaeval custom, the education of 
the Princess Urraca was confided to one of the greatest 
nobles of his time, Don Pedro Ansurez, Lord of Valla- 
dolid, who is by some authorities supposed to have been 
the second husband of her maternal grandmother, the 
Duchess Elie. Ansurez is said to have fulfilled his 
delicate charge with the utmost zeal and fidelity, bring- 
ing up the young Princess in " true Christian principles," 
his paternal affection for her being repaid, we are told, 
by her constant and filial love. Thus, both by heredity 
and by early training, Urraca of Castile was a true daugh- 
ter of the Church which yielded her both detractors and 

Although the sturdy and noble boyhood of the young 
Infante Sancho seemed for the moment to render the 
chances of his elder sister's succeeding to the throne of 
Castile remote indeed, yet the question of her marriage 
was by no means an unimportant one. By race, ex- 


ploits, and station, her bridegroom must be worthy of 
her. Her father's choice fell, happily for the youthful 
bride, upon one who was in all essentials suitable. 

The military fame of Alfonso VI of Castile had at- 
tracted princes from every realm to fight for the Faith 
under his victorious banner. France, in particular, had 
sent the flower of her chivalry to aid the Castilian 
monarch in his almost lifelong struggle on behalf of 
Christianity in the Peninsula. Amongst their number, 
were two, specially distinguished, who had been drawn 
to the Castilian Court in the wake of the Burgundian 
Queen. In their adopted country, Raymond and Henri 
of Burgundy found not only the rewards of valour in 
the King's service, but royal brides. Upon the latter 
Alfonso bestowed the hand of his daughter Teresa, born 
of his uncanonical union with Ximena Munoz, a marriage 
which was to found the Lusitanian dynasty. At the age 
of thirteen, the Infanta Urraca was betrothed to his 
brother Raymond, with the Countship of Galicia as 
their marriage portion. 

The young Count and the still more youthful Countess 
of Galicia were fortunate enough to win at the outset 
the rough and restless hearts of the Galicians. Laying 
aside the sword for that passion for town-planning 
which is by no means peculiar to our own day, Count 
Raymond reared for himself an imperishable monument 
in the rebuilding and repeopling of the cities of Salamanca, 
Segovia, and Avila. Upon the latter city, " Avila of 
the Knights/' he is said to have employed eight hundred 
men under the direction of a Roman named Cassandro 
and Florian de Pituenga, a Frenchman. His pious 
benefactions, not only to the famous shrine of Santiago, 
but to less well-known churches and monasteries, were 
as numerous as the economic benefits which he bestowed 
upon his state. In the former, if not in the latter, the 
Countess Urraca was intimately associated ; to the end 
of her life, she was no less generous a donor to religious 
houses and churches than her namesake kinswoman, 
Urraca Fernandez. 


Two children, a son and a daughter, were born to the 
Count and Countess of Galicia before the lamented 
death of the former. Both were destined to attain 
greatness ; the son (whose birth, on March 1, 1104, was 
announced to the superstitious Galicians always ad- 
dicted, says a cynical modern writer, to seeing signs 
and wonders in the heavens by a miraculous star, 
which blazed for several days in the sky) as Alfonso 
VIII, first Emperor of the Spains ; the daughter, Dona 
Sancha, no less great in Christian virtues than her 
brother in military talents, as the Spouse of St. Isidore. 

In the latter part of his life, Raymond of Burgundy 
and Galicia fell under his father-in-law's displeasure, 
owing, it is said, to the open hostility and disrespect 
which he showed to his wife's beautiful stepmother, the 
Moorish Queen Zaida, or Isabel, the adored wife of King 
Alfonso and the mother of his idolized only son and 
heir, Don Sancho, although it is also suggested that the 
Count's practical banishment from the Court was in 
reality owing to the discovery by the King of a secret 
understanding between the two brothers, Raymond and 
Henri, to seize and divide their father-in-law's dominions 
between them on the death of the latter. Alfonso, the 
Count's heir, shared in the disfavour incurred by his 
father, and was brought up, at a distance from his 
grandfather's court, in the care of the Countess de 

The death of Count Kaymond, which occurred at 
Grajal when his son was about seven years old, was the 
first of the long chain of misfortunes in which it involved 
his young widow. Scarcely had the countship over 
which he had ruled with so paternal a sway lost its head, 
ministered to on his death-bed by that astute and 
powerful prelate, Diego Gelmirez, Bishop of Santiago, 
who was to have so much to say in the after fortunes of 
Dona Urraca, than the second calamity of her life fell 
upon her. More than once in the history of Spain, as 
well as in that of other countries, the death of a little 
child has plunged a whole kingdom in confusion, if not 


in disaster. It was so at the battle of Ucles, that " fatal 
site in Spanish annals," when the young heir to the 
throne of Castile and Leon, fighting bravely in his father's 
stead against the Moors, lost his life at the age of eleven 
years, leaving the inheritance in which he seemed, says 
Mariana, " to have been born to accomplish great deeds," 
to his sister, the widowed Countess of Galicia. Hardly 
had that piteous and heart-rending cry of the bereaved 
father, which seems to have lost none of its poignancy 
as it comes to us across the centuries " Ah, my son, 
my son ! Joy of my heart and light of my eyes, and 
solace of my old age ! " died away, when the grandees 
of Castile, viewing with apprehension the succession of 
a woman to a throne threatened by Moorish foes, 
grown bolder since the victory of Ucles, insisted on the 
immediate remarriage of his widowed daughter, now 
become sole heiress to her father's dominions, as the 
only present safeguard and future security against 
their hereditary enemies. The choice of the Castilian 
nobles seems to have coincided with that of Dona 
Urraca's own heart. The strong man whom, they agreed, 
both the Infanta and her country needed at this critical 
juncture in their history, was one of their own order, 
the gallant knight and soldier, Don Gonzalo Gomez, 
Count of Candespina, whose suit, it was further believed, 
would not be altogether displeasing to the Infanta 
herself. Kings of Castile, however, were no Kings of 
Aragon, willing to submit in all things to the will of 
their subjects, and Alfonso was in no mood to be dictated 
to in the all-important matter of his daughter's second 
marriage. He was certainly not disposed to entertain 
for an instant such a union as that proposed to him, 
a union which, as he knew well, would have resulted, 
as soon as the breath was out of his body, in that 
kingdom which he had won with the sword being given 
over to ceaseless border skirmishes and petty wars 
amongst the turbulent nobles, who would resent none the 
less the rule over them of one of their own order because 
they themselves had raised him to the side of their 


Queen. Her father indeed desired that that place should 
be occupied by a strong man ; by none other could his 
great political designs be accomplished ; but he looked 
for him beyond the borders of his own dominions, to 
which he counted on that chosen bridegroom adding yet 
another province. Without hesitation, in short, Alfonso 
marked him in his namesake of Aragon, the Battler, a 
man after his own heart, already the terror of the Moors, 
and therefore the more invaluable as ally and husband 
to a country and Queen specially threatened by the 
infidel armies. The grandees of Castile had chosen as 
their spokesman a certain Jewish physician named 
Cidelous, who was in attendance on the King, and must 
have congratulated themselves on their prudence, for 
the unlucky Ambassador was driven from the presence 
of his sovereign, whose rage at his temerity knew no 
bounds, and forbidden ever to approach him again. 
Immediately after this peremptory dismissal, the King 
sent for the Archbishop of Toledo, Don Bernardo, and 
made known his royal will and pleasure that Dona 
Urraca's betrothal, which there can be little doubt he 
had already negotiated, should be instantly celebrated. 
This ceremony took place, it is said, at Toledo, with great 
pomp and royal splendour, in 1116. Three years later, 
the death of Alfonso VI left Dona Urraca in undisturbed 
possession of her great inheritance, her betrothed 
husband, Alfonso of Aragon, having meanwhile succeeded 
his father, Don Pedro I, on the throne. Following on 
her proclamation as Queen, the Cortes urged upon Dona 
Urraca the speedy fulfilment of her betrothal vows. 
In the autumn of 1119 the notables were summoned to 
assist at the castle of Monzon at the ill-assorted marriage. 
The repugnance with which the bride consented to this 
union of political expediency was expressed a few years 
later, when, seeking release from her marriage vows, 
she wrote that " in conformity with the will of my dead, 
pious father, I saw myself forced to submit to the will 
of the grandees, who thus disposed of me for the good 
of the kingdom, uniting me to that bloodstained tyrant, 


the King of Aragon, in a base and execrable marriage/' 
And again the Galicians were able to point to the 
omens of sympathetic nature, for on the very night of 
the marriage, the vintage, which, until then, had 
promised an abundant harvest, was totally destroyed 
by a terrific hailstorm. 

It was indeed a marriage foredoomed to failure from 
the outset, to disappoint all the hopes which the dead 
King had formed for the future of his kingdom, and to 
delay for more than three centuries that ultimate union 
of Aragon and Castile which was to be so gloriously 
accomplished by the marriage of the son of the last 
Queen of Aragon. Meanwhile, it was to be but the 
fruitful source of wars, dissensions, and countless 
calamities. The temper of Christian Spain, still in the 
thick of its prolonged struggle with the Moors, was not 
yet ripe for unity. And Aragon was a foreign neigh- 
bour, almost as much alien as the Moor himself. The 
very fame of the Battler, which had seemed to designate 
him as the elect of Castile, made him the more unaccept- 
able to the Castilians. The clerical party in the State, 
moreover, viewed the marriage with undisguised abhor- 
rence, the contracting parties being within the forbidden 
degrees, a fact to which the Queen owed her eventual 
release from a yoke which was not long in becoming 

But the most powerful of the causes which militated 
against the success of a marriage on which both the 
living and the dead had built such lofty expectations, 
was the hopelessly irreconcilable characters of the royal 

Those characters have been hotly defended and as 
fiercely denounced by the opposing partisans of husband 
and wife. Diligent and unprejudiced research has 
cleared away much of the mist that has long obscured 
the figures of Don Alfonso and Dona Urraca, and shown 
us the plain truth about them and the failure of their 
marital relations. It is a common failure of commoner 
folks than royal personages. 


Alfonso the Battler, worthy of his name, was, above 
all things, the rough soldier, the hardy mountaineer, 
simple and frugal in his habits, more accustomed to the 
stern life of camps than the luxury of courts, under- 
standing women not at all, certainly not such a one 
as the light-hearted, high-spirited woman he had 
married. Whilst she, on her part, could not but contrast 
the harsh and domineering temper of her second husband 
with the courtly and cultured gentleness of Eaymond of 
Burgundy, her enemies declaring that there was at her 
Court, and ever at her side, one who, unhappily for the 
King's honour, was only too fatally akin to her memory 
of her first husband. The quarrels between the King 
and Queen grew to be a public scandal. The Church, 
thereafter to be her champion and deliverer, looked on, 
and waited. From harsh words the King proceeded to 
physical violence. " None but you," cries the unhappy 
wife to one of her faithful adherents, the Count Fernando, 
" know what scorn, what grief, what torments, I have 
suffered at the hands of this cruel tyrant, who has not 
only dishonoured me with infamous speech, but has 
struck me in the face with his rude hands and trodden 
me underfoot." Little wonder if, as the partisans of 
Alfonso assert, she sighed for " the good times gone by," 
or that she exclaimed, in the hearing of the King, " Ah, 
Count Gomez, well had it been for me if I had married 
you ! " Dona Urraca was careful, however, not to rely 
merely upon her husband's brutal treatment of her in 
her appeal to the Holy See for the annulment of her 
marriage. To the plea of an injured or outraged wife, 
Rome had been known to turn a deaf ear if that plea 
did not march with political expediency : but Dona 
Urraca had a still more powerful accusation to bring 
against her hated consort. Not only was he flagrantly 
forgetful of his conjugal vows, but he was also " wholly 
given to divination and to auguries by birds, believing 
that the ravens and crows can work us harm " a sin, in 
short, against which both Church and State pronounced 
the direst penalties. Nor was this the sum-total of the 


Queen's denunciations. Not only did the Battler 
dabble in forbidden arts and maltreat his wife, he was 
a violator and despoiler of churches, a robber of the 
Divine "treasury, and a confiscator of the property of 

In the face of such heaped accusations, there could 
be no hesitation on the part of Home. The Pope 
ordered the Archbishop of Toledo to declare the marriage 
of Don Alfonso and Dona Urraca null and void, owing 
to the relationship, that of third cousins, between them. 
The Archbishop transmitted the Papal decree to Bishop 
Gelmirez, who in turn pronounced the unlawfulness of 
the continued cohabitation of the King and Queen, 
threatening the latter, should she persist in the same, 
with deprivation of the royal power, and of the com- 
munity of the Church. The King's reply to this im- 
perious edict was his committal of his wife to the Castle 
of Castellar, where, in her humiliating captivity, the 
imprisoned Queen seems to have suddenly bethought her 
of one weapon still left to her whereby she might, at one 
stroke, secure her own freedom, and be revenged on her 
implacable and detested gaoler. In the little village of 
Caldas afterwards to be known as Caldas del Hey 
there was growing up under the affectionate tutelage of 
the Count and Countess de Trava the little son of Kay- 
mond and Urraca of Galicia. In him centred the last 
hopes of the mother who seems to have been long for- 
getful of his very existence. From her prison, she 
found means to send word to her trusty servants to 
have the child crowned as King of Galicia, this being 
the only title which she was disposed to confer upon 
him, her own manifold designations being, as yet, too 
precious a treasure to yield, even to a son, as the price 
of liberty. Scarcely had her edict gone forth, when the 
King suddenly manifested an inexplicable desire for a 
reconciliation with his wife. Any willingness on the 
part 'of the Queen to consent to resume their former 
relations was, however, peremptorily nipped in the bud 
by the masterful Gelmirez, who, in the name of the 


Holy See, which had already pronounced the decree of 
divorce, solicited by Dona Urraca herself, forbade any 
such step on her part. The King, exasperated at the 
refusal, had the Queen brought to Soria, where he 
publicly repudiated her, thereby giving great offence to 
her Castilian subjects, and plunging the kingdom, as the 
old chroniclers relate, " in such great ills and wars," 
that many a man must have acknowledged in them the 
fulfilment of the omen of those miraculous tears said 
to have been shed by the very stones of St. Isidore at 
the death of Alfonso VI, and held at the time 
to be prophetic of the just cause the dead monarch 
would have for weeping had he but lived to see the 
havoc which the Battler of Aragon was to work in his 

From the moment of their final rupture, the King of 
Aragon became the implacable enemy of the Queen of 
Castile. Making himself master of all the most important 
castles and fortresses in her kingdom, he garrisoned 
them with his own soldiers, and embarked upon that 
campaign of robbery of churches and profanation of 
sanctuaries which the partisans of his wife do not 
hesitate to lay to his charge. It is only just to place 
against these charges the terms of respect in which even 
his infidel enemies write of him, hailing him the most 
valiant of the kings of Christian Spain, whilst none 
have ever cast a stone at his private life. He it was 
who, when asked why he did not contract, like his 
brother sovereigns, irregular alliances with some of his 
beautiful Moorish captives, was said to have answered 
that, in a soldier's life, love should play but a secondary 
part. He paid for his defection from that ideal with 
his ill-starred matrimonial experiences. 

History has left us but few glimpses of this mediaeval 
Queen, but they serve to reconstruct a picture for ever 
swept by storm, before which this royal petrel is cease- 
lessly driven, over snowy, wind-lashed mountains, in 
the teeth of pitiless rain, now a fugitive, imploring 
shelter at some monastery gate, now barely escaping 


with her life from the infuriated mob howling for that 
of Gelmirez as well, but always fearless, never beaten, 
every inch a Queen, even in her darkest hour. 

Beside this restless, storm-tossed figure moves that 
other, no less remarkable personality of Don Diego 
Gelmirez, Bishop of Compostella from 1101, and its 
first Archbishop, twenty years later. 

It was to this masterful prelate that Spain owed her 
first navy. In 1120 Gelmirez sent to Genoa for a ship- 
builder, Ogier, to build him two galleys. 

Of the character of this notable prelate, men of 
many minds have been in doubt. To some, he has 
seemed a kind of sacerdotal Mephistopheles, astute and 
dexterous in negotiation, cunning in politics. To 
others, he is "a great Prince of the Church, who 
suffered many things, both in peace and in war/' He 
belonged, as a modern historian bids us bear in mind, 
when we come to pronounce judgment upon him, to 
an age little concerned with political morality, when 
men changed sides without the least regard to faith 
or friendship, or even solemn promises. Thus, when 
we find him now the friend, now the foe, in turn, 
of Dona Urraca and her son, now taking the field, 
soldier-prelate as he was, against Queen or King, then 
intriguing, apparently, against both mother and son, 
with Dona Teresa of Portugal, half-sister of Dona 
Urraca, and one of her most troublesome enemies, 
surprise should be the last feeling with which we mark 
his devious ways. He was a man of great talents, 
ambitious, both for his own aggrandizement and for the 
Church in which he rose to such high dignity. As 
Bishop of Compostella, that unrivalled goal of the 
world's pilgrims of his day, he was one of the most 
princely of feudal lords. But his sway was one of iron, 
and Santiago was often in arms against him. On one 
such occasion, the citizens having besieged both their 
Bishop and the Queen, who chanced to be in Santiago 
also, in the church, the two illustrious prisoners were 
forced to take refuge in a tower, to which the rebels 


proceeded to set fire. The Queen was compelled, in 
order to save her life, to make her way through a hostile 
crowd, by whom she was roughly handled, Gelmirez, 
meanwhile, making his escape only by assuming the 
disguise of a beggar. The Bishop of Santiago lived to 
attain, under the son of Dona Urraca, the Archiepiscopal 
dignity of his See, in addition to much worldly reward 
at the hands of the young sovereign, who owed his 
accession to his throne, in the first instance, there can be 
little doubt, to the powerful influence of his mother's 
ancient partisan. To the young King, Gelmirez was 
none of those things which his enemies have laid to his 
charge. With his treacheries, his simony, his litigious- 
ness, the shifty and sacrilegious means whereby he 
replenished his own coffers and those of Rome, the boy- 
sovereign had nothing to do. For him, he was solely 
the champion to whom he owed a crown, as to his 
priestly advocates he was a model of virtue and saintli- 
ness, " singularly favoured by God " both as prelate 
and soldier. Was he true patriot, or faithless statesman ? 
Who can tell ? His true judgment rests in shadow, with 
that of Urraca of Castile. 

We track that lonely, storm-driven figure, in her 
quaint, high head-dress and fur-lined mantle, from 
role to role of those which she was in turn compelled to 
play. Now, we see her prostrate before the shrine of 
the world-famous Santiago de Compostella, entreating 
that light may be shed upon her dark path : " Thou, 
O most holy Saviour, deign, " she prays, " to grant this 
kingdom to whomsoever has the right to rule over it. 
Vouchsafe, also, to put an end to war, and to give us the 
peace which we desire, that Thy faithful people may 
dwell peaceably, and may be set free to serve Thee, 
Who art the living and true God, throughout all ages." 
See her, suppliant still, at the feet of the Blessed Virgin 
of Lugo, imploring Our Lady " to accept this, my 
oblation, though it be but small, together with my 
sighs, and tears, that, by thy pious intercession, I may 
continue in the peaceful possession of the kingdom of 


my fathers, and be thou my shield and defender through 
life and in the day of the tremendous judgment." And, 
lest any deem her but a weak, priest-ridden devotee, let 
us follow her from the steps of the altar, out into the 
rigours of winter, the intolerable frosts and snow, 
through which, " at the head of her troops, she played 
the man, sharing with them the fatigues and hardships 
of their long campaign " ; let us scale those bleak, 
forbidding mountain heights which she traversed at 
the call of duty. 

Kest came but rarely to Dona Urraca. Now, she 
keeps a small court at the Benedictine Monastery of 
Samos ; we read of her steward, Ximenez Lopez, of her 
notary, Juan Ramirez, of Gutierre de Fernandez, her 
majordomo, besides a few faithful ecclesiastics, the 
Bishops of Lugo and Mondonedo, and others. Above 
all, ill-fated as she was in many of her relations through- 
out her life, she had by her side amid all its vicissitudes 
one bound to her by the closest ties, to whom she found 
leisure, rare though it must have been, to teach states- 
manship, if not saintliness that was an inheritance 
which Dona Sancha, only daughter of Dona Urraca's 
first marriage with Raymond of Burgundy, may well 
have owed to her grandmother, Constance, first Chris- 
tian Queen of Toledo. The life of this great Infanta, the 
Spouse of St. Isidore, and the ornament of her times, 
demands greater space than can be devoted to it in this 
place. Her great virtues and saintly life, as well as her 
notable wisdom in worldly affairs, have been extolled by 
all the chroniclers of Castile. While her mother lived, 
she signed in conjunction with her all State documents, 
and on the accession of her brother, Alfonso VII, to the 
throne, he was guided, we are told, by his sister in all 
matters secular, as well as ecclesiastical pertaining to 
the government. In recognition of her constant and 
affectionate devotion to his interests, the grateful King 
bestowed upon her the title and rank of Queen, giving 
further proof of his confidence in her goodness and 
prudence by entrusting her with the care and education 


of his daughter, her namesake, Dona Sancha, afterwards 
Queen of Pampeluna. 

With another Sancha, daughter of Alfonso VI and his 
fifth wife, the French Princess, Isabel, Queen Urraca 
was also on the most cordial terms. This noble-hearted 
Infanta, who became the first wife of Count Don 
Rodrigo Gonzalez de Lara, one of the greatest lords in 
Castile, more than compensated her royal stepsister for 
all the treacheries cl^^ir other half-sister, Dona Teresa 
of Portugal. Both she and her husband never swerved 
from their allegiance to their sister-in-law, the Count 
fighting her battles loyally on all occasions against the 
Battler and the young Alfonso of Castile, the latter of 
whom, after his mother's death, with great magnanimity, 
received the former rebel against his rule into his service, 
" giving him Toledo and great honours " in his kingdom, 
and following, like a son, in his funeral procession, when 
the remains of the Count were brought back from the 
Holy Land, where he died, to be interred, according to 
Sandoval, in the Monastery of Santa Maria de Piasca, 
patron of his House in Liebana. 

The marked contrast between two other half-sisters 
of Dona Urraca, the Infantas Teresa and Elvira, born 
of the marriage, afterwards annulled by Papal decree, 
of Alfonso VI and Dona Ximena Munoz, gave to their 
royal sister, on the one hand, a faithful friend, whom she 
associated with her and her own daughter in the govern- 
ment, and, on the other, a treacherous and dangerous 
enemy. With the restless, ambitious character of 
Gelmirez, the Infanta Teresa had much in common. 
Her husband, Don Enrique of Lorraine, saw in the 
internal troubles of Castile and Leon during the reign 
of Dona Urraca, an opportunity of which neither 
husband nor wife were slow to avail themselves of 
extending the borders of the little kingdom which was 
to be the cradle of the later Portugal. Dona Teresa, it 
would seem, never ceased to resent her illegitimacy, nor 
to regard her royal sister as a usurper of the throne 
from which the bar sinister alone had thrust her, nor 


did she deem it compensation to have been placed by 
her father, as though in some sort to make amends for 
his treatment of her beautiful mother, on a par with his 
legitimate daughter and ultimate heiress, Dona Urraca, 
by bestowing her hand upon a kinsman of the latter J s 

Of a very different character was Dona Teresa's sister, 
Dona Elvira, worthier than the latter in every respect 
of the title of Queen, which, in acflBFance with mediaeval 
custom, was assumed by both sisters, Dona Elvira 
being also, by her marriage with Raymond IV of 
Toulouse, the famous crusader, Countess of Toulouse, 
Duchess of Narbonne, and Marchioness of Provence. 
Beside the hero sung by Tasso, the chroniclers of her 
time place the sweet and poetic figure of this Spanish 
Infanta, who, in fulfilment of the solemn vow, accom- 
panied her lord to the Holy Land, sharing his triumphs 
and perils, and ministering to him in all his misfortunes, 
her brave spirit making her a worthy helpmeet for such 
a gallant knight. The only son of the illustrious couple, 
born in the Holy Land, and named Alfonso Jordan, was 
a noble son of noble parents, and won honour for him- 
self in turn at the court of his cousin, Alfonso VII of 

Even before the final veil falls upon the stormy life of 
Dona Urraca, the clouds of uncertainty gather about 
her turbulent reign. Some historians maintain that 
mother and son reigned together over a divided kingdom 
for several years before the death of the former, others that 
Gelmirez, seeing nothing but ruin and dismemberment 
for the realm if the unseemly struggle for the supremacy 
was prolonged, prevailed upon the Queen to bring all 
the long dissensions of her rule to an end by resigning 
her crown to her son. From the day when Urraca gave 
her consent it can scarcely have been an unwilling 
one Don Alfonso, it is said, '" loaded her with honours, 
and paid her the most profound respect." It was 
sufficient return, one may believe, for the relinquish- 
ment of a burden of which she, if ever a queen was, 


must have grown intolerably weary. There were, 
moreover, if report did not wrong her, other and more 
secret reasons why Dona Urraca should have willingly 
embraced obscurity. That obscurity was illuminated, 
so it has always been maintained, by the romance of her 
third marriage, no less disastrous to her fame as woman 
and queen than the second had been. Its clandestine 
character has for many years brought down upon her 
memory that torrent of vilification and calumny which 
has only recently been cleared away from her history. 
The lawfulness of her union with the famous Count 
Pedro Gonzalez de Lara has been amply demonstrated. 
She was not the mistress, but the wife, of the first noble 
in her land, in whose veins ran the blood of kings no 
less than in hers. Their marriage preceded the abdication 
of the Queen. It would seem, indeed, as though the 
arrogant pretensions of the Count, which aroused against 
him the ill-will of his fellow grandees, and resulted in his 
being banished from Castile, was the chief cause of 
Dona Urraca's compliance with the suggestion of 
Gelmirez. The children of this shadowed marriage were 
Don Fernandez Perez de Lara, surnamed Hurtado, 
from the secrecy surrounding his birth, and Dona 
Elvira Perez de Lara, who married, first, Garcia Perez 
de Trava, and, secondly, Don Beltran de Eisnel, Count 
of Carrion, a great adherent of the cause of Dona 
Urraca, and afterwards a faithful servant of her son's. 

The storm-swept life of Urraca of Castile came to an 
end in March, 1126. Morales tells us, in his description 
of the city of Leon, that she was laid to rest in the royal 
mausoleum in the Chapel of St. Isidore, and that, at the 
date of his visit, at the close of the sixteenth century, he 
found no more trace of her tomb than a coffer of marble, 
covered with a plain slab. Her effigy depicts her wear- 
ing the royal robes of the period, and the high head- 
dress already alluded to, which Morales styles " the tall 
coiffure of ancient Vizcayuna." The inscription on that 
forgotten tomb declares that within it " lies the Queen, 
Urraca, daughter of the good King, Alfonso VI, and 


mother of the Emperor, Alfonso, who died in the month 
of March, 1126." 

In striking contrast to the obloquy which for centuries 
has been heaped upon her name, the children of Dona 
Urraca have, literally, risen up to call her blessed. Thus 
her son, Alfonso of Castile, styles her in certain docu- 
ments of his reign, " Queen of worthy memory/' whilst 
his sister, the saintly Dona Sancha, names her " the 
Venerable Queen, Dona Urraca," and also " Queen 
worthy of veneration." 


Accession of Don Pedro I to throne of Aragon, 1094. 

Doubtful marriage with an Italian lady, Dona Berta. 

Birth of Dona Urraca of Castile, 1080. 

Betrothed to Raymond of Burgundy, created Count of Galicia, 1093. 

Birth of their son, Alfonso, afterwards Alfonso VIII of Castile, 1104. 

Death of Count Raymond, 1111. 

Battle of Ucles, death of Don Sancho, Dona Urraca becomes heiress of 
Castile and Leon. 

Death of Alfonso VI of Castile, accession of Dona Urraca to his throne, 

Marriage of Dona Urraca and Alfonso the Battler of Aragon, 1119. 

Quarrels of the King and Queen and dissolution of their marriage, their 
wars, Doiia Urraca's son proclaimed King, sketches of Dona Urraca's 
sisters, her daughter, and Don Diego Gelmirez, Bishop of Compostella. 

Her abdication and second marriage. Her death, 1126. 



THE death of Alfonso the Battler without heirs called 
his successor, a younger brother, thereafter known as 
Kamiro II, from the cloister to a throne. Dispensed 
from his monastic vows, the Monk-King, as he is styled 
in history, married Agnes, or Inez, daughter or sister of 
Guillaume, Count of Poitiers, by whom he became the 
father of Dona Petronilla, the only Queen of Aragon in 
her own right. Having secured the future of both 
kingdom and daughter by betrothing the latter, almost 
in her cradle, in 1137, to Ramon Berenger, Count of 
Barcelona, Ramiro abdicated, and retired once more to 
his monastery. The name, the origin, and the after- 
fate of his consort are alike doubtful. By some writers, 
she is given the name of Matilda ; others assert that 
she was a widow who had herself embraced the religious 
life when, equally dispensed with her husband, she was 
brought from a convent to be married to the Monk- 
King. If this legend be fact, it is more than probable 
that, after her husband's death, she returned to the 
obscurity from which she had been torn. However 
that may be, the history of Aragon knows her no more. 
Her child, thus orphaned, was taken, it is said, to 
Castile, where she was brought up under the care of 
Ramon Berenger 's sister, Dona Berenguela, Queen of 
Alfonso VII, and daughter-in-law of Dona Urraca. 
Suitable in all respects as such a guardianship seemed 
to be, it yet threatened, at one time, to rob the Count of 
Barcelona of his bride and her contingent inheritance, 
secret intrigues, it is said, having been set on foot at 
the Court of Castile to betroth the child-Queen of 



Aragon to the heir of Castile, Don Sancho. Ramon 
Berenger, deeply incensed at this treacherous attitude 
on the part of his sister and brother-in-law, retaliated 
by entering into negotiations with the King of Navarre 
for the hand of his daughter, Dona Blanca, who even- 
tually became the bride of Don Sancho above-mentioned. 
Aragon, meanwhile, alarmed at the possible turn which 
events might take should the betrothal bond between 
their little sovereign and the Count of Barcelona be 
broken, insisted upon her immediate return to the 
country over which she was to reign, the excuse being 
given that the climate of Castile was not suited to her 

That " early entry into the field of politics," as the 
marriage of Dona Petronilla and Ramon Berenger of 
Barcelona has been called, is noteworthy, not merely 
because the child-bride was the first and last Reina 
Proprietaries, or Queen in her own right, of Aragon, but 
because, as another writer has pointed out, it " laid 
the foundation of the greatness of Spain." 

If the Monk-King had sat loosely, while he reigned, 
to the responsibilities which had been thrust upon him, 
if he had shown himself, as the story of the Bell of 
Huesca testifies, both cruel and treacherous, yet it 
must be laid to his credit that, before shuffling off the 
crown to resume the cowl, he left the kingdom of which 
he was so lightly quit in excellent hands. 

Ramon Berenger was the first Count of Barcelona, 
says Senor Mila y Fontanals, celebrated by the poetry 
of the troubadours, to whom this noble warrior-prince 
and statesman, closely bound both by ties of kinship 
and of policy to Provence, through the countships of his 
brother and nephew, found leisure to show a sym- 
pathetic patronage. Their grateful strains attended 
him on his wedding-day in 1151, the marriage procession 
to the Cathedral of Lerida, where the nuptial Mass was 
sung, being preceded by a great chorus of gleemen and 
gleewomen, who also performed several dances, which 
appear to have been of a descriptive or pantomimic 


character, particular mention being made of a combat 
between Moors and Christians ; while the bridegroom 
was everywhere acclaimed with songs of praise, the 
very monks and hermits forsaking their cells and caves, 
adds the anonymous chronicler, in honour of the occa- 
sion, and joining in the celebration of the Prince's 
triumph and victories, " now in the Catalan, now in the 
Latin tongue." 

The Kingdom of Aragon and the Countships of 
Provence and Toulouse took precedence, as it has been 
well pointed out, of Castile, as the classic country of the 
Troubadours. To the illustrious House of Barcelona, 
whose Counts now became virtual rulers of Aragon, 
Spain owed, not only great political, but no less great 
economic and literary advantages. In 1113, the crown 
of Provence had been transferred, by the marriage of its 
heiress, Dulce, to the third Count of Barcelona. Its 
culture, its grace of manners, and its cult of poetry 
had all followed from her native land in the wake of the 
young Countess. This " gay vegetation/' that " beauti- 
ful flower which sprang up on a sterile soil," as Sismondi 
describes the literature of the troubadours, was now 
to take root in the north-east corner of Spain. The 
Catalan- Aragonese dynasty was to give a King to its 
ranks ; in another reign, Aragon was to join the brother- 
hood of that " group of sovereign princes of mediaeval 
France whose only common bond was the Provengal 
language, namely, the Counts of Toulouse, the Dukes 
of Aquitaine, the Dauphins of Viennois and Auvergne, 
the Princes of Orange, of the House of Baux, and the 
Counts of Foix " ; and whose numbers were still more 
reinforced by the greater fraternity of those petty 
princes, who, each in his province, his feudal township, 
or fortress, enjoyed the prerogatives of sovereignty. 
Henceforth, not merely the magnificence of the city of 
Barcelona, which was to be the chief place of residence 
of the Kings of Aragon for many centuries, but the wealth 
of her commerce and the music of her troubadours, were 
to be the prize of Aragon. 


The lonely little Princess whose baby fingers were 
first to close upon this prize was no less fortunate than 
her kingdom in the disposal of her destiny. The husband, 
so many years her senior, to whose care she had been 
committed by her father prior to his renunciation of 
crown and sceptre for the habit which had been torn 
from his shoulders for awhile, proved himself a noble 
gentleman, worthy of the name he bore. Taking upon 
himself all the burden of the sovereignty which his child- 
bride was not of an age to assume, he modestly refused 
the title of King, merely adding to his style of Count of 
Barcelona that of Prince of Aragon. Throughout their 
married life, Petronilla, we are told, never occupied 
herself with the affairs or the administration of the 
government, leaving all such concerns in the hands to 
which she had learned from childhood they could safely 
be entrusted. 

If this important political union, which proved in the 
sequel to be no less a marriage of affection, was fortunate 
in both aspects, the baby bride of Eamon Berenger was 
equally so in being transferred at an early age from the 
grim and bleak hill-cities of Aragon which had been the 
cradle of so many royal Aragonese children before her. 
To the palace of the Counts of Barcelona, El Palau, 
which first belonged to the Templars, not only the 
comforts, but the refinements of life had preceded her. 

Barcelona, the city of orange groves and pure water, 
extolled by travellers from the earliest date for her 
spacious streets and palatial houses, set in delightful 
gardens, shaded by cedar and myrtle, and musical with 
fountains, was already the mistress and the terror of the 
Mediterranean. She had brought commerce to a fine 
art. Her merchant princes gloried in the " mark " of 
their calling, as elsewhere in Spain they prided them- 
selves on their armorial bearings. Into her marts, the 
East, Italy, Greece, Sicily, France, Flanders, and 
England poured all the treasures of their looms, all the 
products of their spice groves and alembics. Her own 
craftsmen were the rivals of all Europe ; her silversmiths 


and glass-blowers famous from antiquity. The earliest 
impressions of the child-Princess would be of a city 
" surpassing every other," as Marineo Siculo testifies, 
" in the elegance of its buildings, the cleanliness of its 
streets, its pleasant gardens and the beauty of all things 
therein." Housed in that " most noble city of his 
crown," as it was afterwards to be styled by Pedro IV, 
" celebrated," " illustrious," " magnificent," as others 
have acclaimed it she was indeed splendidly lodged. 
The style of furniture was still, as in Aragon a century 
earlier, solid, heavy, little decorated, but the niceties of 
the table and the toilet were by no means neglected. 
Cushions, piled high on the tall and capacious beds, 
served for pillows and bolsters as well, offering scope for 
their ornamentation by the skilful embroideress. Lamps 
of bronze and silver shed their light through the palace 
apartments, and the dressers, placed against the walls 
hung with Arras cloths, were laden with gold and silver 
ware. The wardrobe of the Queen- Countess was of the 
most royal description. All the cloth-halls of Europe 
seem to have been emporiums for the robing of the noble 
ladies of Catalonia and Aragon in the twelfth century. 
Their humbler sisters must be content with barracan 
(a coarse fustian), burel, burnet, frieze, and sarcilis or 
sackcloth ; those more well-to-do with stamfortis (a 
strong cloth of superior quality, says Fairholt), a single 
tunic of which was valued at fifteen shillings ; with 
camlet, Syrian cloth, or tiritania, all these fabrics being 
imported from Bruges, Caen, Chartres, Ratisbon, Arras, 
Rouen, Saint Omer, Valenciennes, Ypres, Ghent, Tours, 
Beauvais, Provins, and other French, German, and 
Belgian marts. But for such great ladies as Queen 
Petronilla, there were costly and exquisite fabrics whose 
very names transport us to the Middle Ages. Lucca 
and the East proffered their famous cendals ; samite, 
with its interweaving of golden threads, baudekyn, that 
sumptuous wear of kings, named for Babylon, where it is 
said to have been first manufactured, siclatoun from the 
East, the curiously named oztori, " used for great 



personages/' scarlet cloth of every shade from rose to 
purple, woven on the looms of Catalonia as well as 
brought from the utmost East, were all for the clothing 
of the young Queen. Dress in Catalonia had not indeed 
attained to that pitch of extravagant splendour which 
drew forth sumptuary laws of pitiless repression at a 
later date from the Spanish Kings, but already there 
were signs of the need for such repression. A contem- 
porary Catalan document of this century describes the 
ordinary dress of the people as consisting of shirt, hose, 
breeches, tunic, and cloak. The clergy wore coloured 
garments, like the laity, which drew forth in 1129 a 
prohibition from the Archbishop of Tarragona, regarding 
this fashion, and forbidding the use of cendal, pointed 

* O ' JT 

shoes, coloured and embroidered cloaks, gold cords or 
silken girdles. The ordinary dress of the women of 
Catalonia at that date was the wide, loose tunic, over 
which noble ladies wore that characteristic garment of 
the time known as the brial. This was a robe of silk or 
rich stuff fitting tightly as far as the waist, and falling 
thence as far as the feet, sometimes opening at both 
sides. Worn almost exclusively by women of the 
highest rank, the brial was frequently presented by 
royal ladies to monasteries enjoying their special 
patronage. Thus, in 1467, the Princess Leonora of 
Navarre gave to the Monastery of Santa Maria of 
Eoncesvalles a brial of gold brocade for the service of 
the altar, desiring that if any of the material remained 
over, it should be made into a cloak to cover and adorn 
the statue of Our Lord in the same monastery. Pecu- 
liarly Catalan was the garnacha, introduced from the 
East, and afterwards adopted in Castile. It is described 
as an imperial garment, wide and long, with long, flowing 
sleeves, turned back with fur and falling back from the 
shoulders. The head-dress of the period was high, 
described by Altamira de Crevea as a cap or helmet of 
cloth, fastened with strings under the chin. Such a 
head-dress appears on the effigy of Urraca of Castile on 
her tomb in the Royal Pantheon of Leon, while in 1869, 


Richard Ford tells us that " the women of the Maragato 
tribe near Astorga still wear, if married, the Moorish 
headgear called El Caramiello." The Count de Clonard 
says that unmarried women of the thirteenth century 
wore their hair covered with mitres called caramiellos, 
from the Arabic kermil-lon, which means, that with 
which a woman covers her hair. According to document- 
ary evidence of the period, women's shoes were made of 
wood " zuecos buenos de muger " (according to 
Strutt, these shoes were merely wooden-soled, the upper 
part probably of some more pliant material) cowhide 
and goatskin, fastened with leather straps or thongs. 

Women who had embraced the religious life were by 
no means debarred, if of noble birth, from elegance in 
dress, but were allowed to wear tunics of purple trimmed 
with fur, violet mantles, transparent hoods, and boots 
with precious stones. 

Turning to domestic manners and customs, it was the 
general observance in Catalonia to wash the hands 
before sitting down to meals. Of these there were three 
daily, breakfast, dinner, and supper. The royal larder 
was well stocked, industrial Catalonia having agri- 
cultural Aragon for its granary and vineyard, although 
Ocampo states that the former province had enough 
wine, over and above its own consumption, to supply 
the English and other markets. Pork and poultry 
appear to have been the favourite dishes at the royal 
table, the former, as Ford reminds us, having " always 
been of unequalled flavour " in Spain ; those of Galicia 
and Catalonia, he adds, however, though celebrated, 
" are not to be compared for a moment with those of 
Montanches, which are fit to set before an emperor/' 
The same entertaining traveller declares that the only 
rivals of " the illustrious Estremadurian porkers " are 
the sweet hams of Trevelez in Granada. Served on the 
great garals or dishes, with their pairs of spoons, some- 
times, as we gather, made with coral handles from th( 
famous fishery of the capital, was not only the more 
substantial fare alluded to above, but long-lost plats ii 


which figured, in many dainty disguises, rice and saffron 
of Aragon, figs of Jaen and Malaga, honey of Alcarria, 
" marvellous for taste and sweetness/' besides " chamber 
spicery " from the East. On fast-days, the royal house- 
hold partook of cheese, eggs, onions, and bread. A jar 
of ginger is not unknown amongst the Household 
Accounts of Spanish Infantas in the Middle Ages. 

Within the palace, life was musical with many 
instruments, psalterion, vielle, and taburel, a kind of 
tambourine, played on with drumstick, every great lord 
or king having his court player. These were not all of 
Provenal origin. The Moors were not only cultured and 
erudite poets, but also strolling minstrels, who, accom- 
panied by gleewomen or female acrobats, performed in 
the public streets or squares, intoning to music canciones 
and poems of a fabulous, historical, amatory, or satirical 
character. The games of chess and draughts, dice and 
quoits were not unknown, while the mountains of both 
Catalonia and Aragon, abounding as they did in wild 
game, offered splendid sport to royal huntsmen. 

As elsewhere in Europe in the Middle Ages, falconry 
was held in high esteem, kings and nobles setting out 
for the chase with gaily-caparisoned steeds and a 
splendid retinue, huntsmen, archers, and falconers, the 
former in gorgeous liveries, the latter in rich collars and 
hoods. The ladies accompanied their lords on these 
expeditions, their hawks chained to their slender wrists, 
penetrating the dense thickets without fatigue or fear. 
The birds of prey which contributed to this sport of 
kings were protected by law. Penalties were imposed 
for robbery of falcons' nests, and for exporting the young. 
Great store was set by the following kinds : garceros, 
anaderos, perdigueros, and torzuelos (the name given to 
the third to leave the nest) ; those known as bornis, 
which were very strong and agile ; baharis, a ruddy- 
coloured species, used for fishing ; neblis, rapid in flight ; 
and the sacre. Other kinds were used for stalking 
quails and widgeon. 

Flamingos were also occasionally employed in hawk- 


ing, but they were difficult to get out of the water. 
Heavy fines were inflicted for the detention of a hawk, 
the penalty for the theft of a goshawk being greater 
than that for the robbery of a falcon, half of the fine 
going to the King, and half to the informer. 

It is uncertain whether the hawking expeditions of 
the Kings of Aragon were inaugurated, as in the case 
of their brother sovereigns of Navarre, with a religious 
ceremony. Then, as now, the first thing that struck 
the traveller in Spain was " the number and variety of 
the birds of prey," but the royal sportsmen were specially 
addicted to the imported falcons of Sardinia. 

In such a setting as we have attempted to reconstruct, 
it is possible to picture the young Queen Petronilla 
growing up to womanhood, under the watchful eye and 
encompassed by the devoted guardianship of her 
husband. Beneath his guiding influence she grew to be 
all that the contemporary chronicles of her time acclaim 
her " faithful wife, tender mother, wise Queen, devout 
Christian, her life was a gentle and revered one." In 
1152, when she was awaiting in the palace at Barcelona 
the birth of her first child, the young Queen affixed her 
signature to a document which was to have far-reaching 
and important consequences for future heiresses to the 
Spanish throne. The will of Petronilla, upon which the 
exclusion of women from that throne was afterwards 
based, was, paradoxically enough, that of the only 
Queen of Aragon in her own right. Prom that date, 
women transmitted to their sons a right which they 
themselves were not permitted to exercise apart from 
their husbands. It is another curious feature of this 
will that it should have been drawn up on Catalonian 
soil, where, in marriage contracts, the right of inheritance 
was vested in the daughter, in default of sons, and where 
the heiress, in that event, was considered the head of the 
house, and gave her name, and not that of the father, to 
any sons she might have. 

The eldest son of Petronilla of Aragon and Eamon 
Berenger of Barcelona, to whom she gave birth at 


Barcelona in 1152, was given the name of Ramon, 
afterwards changed to that of Alfonso. He is known in 
history as Alfonso the Chaste, first King of the united 
Kingdom of Aragon and Countship of Barcelona. Her 
other children were Ildefonsus, who married Sancha of 
Castile, Sancho, Count of Roussillon and Cerdana, and 
two daughters, who became Queen of Portugal and 
Countess of Urgel. Left a widow August 6, 1162, at 
the age of twenty-eight, Dona Petronilla actually 
reigned alone only until June 14, 1163, when, having 
arranged a marriage for her son with the Princess 
Eleanor, daughter of Edward I of England, she abdicated 
in favour of the young Prince, who now ascended the 
throne of Aragon, as Alfonso II, first of the line of the 
House of Barcelona. Dona Petronilla lived for ten 
years after, retired from the state which she had re- 
nounced, though her son, we are told, ever found in her, 
whilst she lived, his best and wisest counsellor. The 
abdication of Petronilla of Aragon in favour of her son 
is paralleled in Spanish history by that of Berengaria 
of Castile in favour of Ferdinand the Saint. Both these 
illustrious mothers, Queens in their own right, generously 
renounced, for the higher good of their people, a crown 
to which their magnanimity gave the priceless boon of 
unity. Linked together, they are worthy to be remem- 
bered in the annals of Spain, rich above all other nations 
in the noblest types of womanhood. Dona Petronilla 
passed away, October 13, 1173, in the clean and queenly 
city which had been the scene of her unique reign and 
happy married life. The place of her interment is in 
doubt ; it was probably the Cathedral of Barcelona. 


Don Alfonso II of Aragon, known in history as 
Alfonso the Chaste, has been doubly crowned by the 
Church, of which, following the noble example of his 
parents, he was a generous and loyal benefactor, and 


by the troubadours, who acclaim him first in their 
ranks in Spain. Both agree in describing him as " a 
very pious and charitable prince, who conferred great 
benefactions on monasteries, and made great bequests 
in his kingdom, chiefly to the Knights of the Templars 
and St. John, and was so discreet in his life and manners 
as to merit the title of " the Chaste." The son of 
Dona Petronilla was as fortunate in his marriage as his 
parents had been before him. The alliance with Eng- 
land, so ardently desired by both, had been frustrated 
by the death of the bride at the moment of the signing 
of the marriage contract by Jean de Grailly, the English 
ambassador, at Barcelona. 

Rumour, brought it may be from the East by 
Catalonian merchantmen, more than once a determin- 
ing factor in the marriages of the Kings of Aragon, 
next turned the young monarch's thoughts in that 
direction. An embassy was despatched to the Court of 
Manuel, Emperor of the East, soliciting the hand of 
his daughter, Eudoxia. The terms of this still more 
imperial alliance than that lately snatched from Don 
Alfonso having been concluded, the bride set out for her 
new home. Storms, however, delayed her ship, and when 
at length she landed on French soil, it was to learn the 
astonishing and mortifying news of the marriage, at 
Zaragoza, on January 8, 1174, of her faithless suitor, 
her supplanter being Sancha, daughter of Alfonso VIII of 
Castile, and his second wife, Rica, or Richilda, daughter 
of Ladislaus of Poland. Eudoxia, stranded in a strange 
land, was forced to accept the proffered hand of William 
of Montpellier, a marriage which, in the next reign, was 
to give another Queen Consort to Aragon. The Queen 
of Alfonso II was worthy in all respects to be the suc- 
cessor of Dona Petronilla, a devoted wife and a tender 
mother of the seven children whom she bore to the King. 
The Court over which she presided was one to which the 
thoughts and the footsteps alike of many a troubadour 
turned with certainty of the welcome awaiting them at 
the hands of one who was first of Spanish troubadours, 


though the part played by his Queen in that welcome 
was probably restricted to that of an onlooker and 
a warder of coveted prizes at the contests of the wander- 
ing minstrels. The son of Eamon Berenger and Dona 
Petronilla had been cradled in that palace of the 
Counts of Barcelona where, as Bouche reminds us in 
his History of Provence, " Provenal poetry was brought 
to perfection." The coplas to which he was afterwards 
to add his quota were his earliest lullaby. Like many 
another poet, though uncrowned, he sang none the less 
sweetly because of the first sounds his memory could 
recall. Thus, the quick wit, the sensitive and warm 
hearts of the troubadours recognized in him not merely 
the generous patron, but the sympathetic comrade, 
" a poet who made himself," as one of them writes, 
" their head and the crown of their honours." None 
ever weary of singing the praises of their " steady 
friend." Peire Raymond thus : " Journey, Canzone, 
to Aragon, to the King, whom God maintain, for he it is 
that upholds all things noble, above all other kings born 
of woman. Even as the white blossom is above the 
green foliage, so is his fame uplifted and spread abroad 
above that of any other ; therefore, whithersoever I 
go, his watchword is within my mouth. I proclaim his 
fame and do homage beside to no Duke, King, or 
Admiral." This jongleur was royally welcomed at the 
Court of Alfonso, who " did him great honour." Calan- 
son, the Gascon jongleur, after having instructed the 
aspirant in the Gay Science, tells him that when he 
knows it well, he must seek the young King of Aragon, 
for that no one can better appreciate such accomplish- 
ments, and that if he plays his part, and distinguishes 
himself amongst the foremost, he will have no occasion 
to complain of that monarch's want of liberality. And 
lastly, if he does not rise above mediocrity, he will 
deserve an ungracious welcome from the best prince in 
the world. Giraud de Calanson's advice to jongleurs 
is thus translated for us by Sismondi : " He must know 
how to compose and rhyme well, and how to propose a 


jeuparti. He must play on the tambourine and cymbals, 
and make a symphony resound. To throw and catch 
the little balls, on the point of a knife, to imitate the 
songs of birds, to play tricks with the baskets, to 
exhibit attacks of castles, and leaps (no doubt of 
monkeys) through hoops, to play on the citole and the 
mandore, to handle the clavichord and the guitar, to 
string the wheel with seventeen chords, to play on the 
harp and to adapt the gigue so as to enliven the psaltery, 
are indispensable accomplishments. The jongleur must 
prepare nine instruments with ten chords, which, if he 
learns to play well, will be sufficient for his purpose, 
and he must know how to sound the lyre and bells/' 

Between the troubadour and the trouvere, it should 
be mentioned in passing, there was a considerable 
difference. " Every jongleur," says one authority, 
" was often enough a trouvere, but the trouvere was not 
always a jongleur." In other words, the troubadours 
were composers or creators of the poems recited by the 
jongleurs, of inferior rank, who travelled about the 
country, often in troops, attended by dancers and 
buffoons, accompanying their songs on different instru- 
ments, chiefly on the vielle, or portable harp, or rote. 
When on horseback, the vielle was attached to the 
saddlebow ; if on foot, the jongleur slung it round his 
neck. Besides these strolling players, there were the 
bards who assisted at royal feasts and occasions of 
special circumstance. Upon these honourable enter- 
tainers, kings and knights bestowed the richest gifts, as 
we shall see in this history. " It was thus the highest 
ambition," says Sismondi, "of the reciters of tales to 
amuse the leisure of the great and to please them with 
their flatteries." The recompense received both from 
Christian and Moorish Princes was permission to take 
part in festivals, and to accept costly gifts, garments 
or horses. It has been doubted by some writers whether 
the jongleurs in Aragon ever attained to the heights 
of fortune which kingly favour enabled them to scale 
elsewhere, as for example in the case of Pierre Touset, 


whom his master, Philip the Long, permitted to pur- 
chase many noble fiefs ; but there can be little doubt 
that they were at least equally as fortunate as those 
jongleurs of Rouen on whom Charles V of France 
bestowed 200 golden francs in return for their songs, 
for in this very reign of Alfonso II we read of the 
Countess of Urgel sending a crown valued at 40,000 
sueldos to a certain Guillermo Mita, King of all the 
jongleurs, at a feast at Beaucaire in honour of the 
reconciliation of the King of England and Count Ray- 
mond of Toulouse ; and we shall see yet greater re- 
wards showered on the jongleurs who figured at the 
coronations of the later Kings of Aragon. The Aragonese 
Court singers had songs of love and war for their week- 
day audiences. On Sundays they recited Bible stories 
and extracts from the lives of the saints, a form of 
entertainment which was the forerunner of the mystery 
plays commonly performed at a later date in the 
Spanish churches, " with music and dancing, canons, 
servers, and laity taking part in them," a fashion 
which called forth stringent laws to repress the " vil- 
lainies and indecencies committed in the House of the 
Lord," as for example in the burlesques and farces per- 
formed on the Innocents' Day. 

The early jongleurs, however, were by no means all 
foreigners. The Knight de Blacas, whose funeral eulogy 
was written by Sordello, was an Aragonese, whose 
heart, says his eulogist, should have been divided 
among all the monarchs in Christendom, to supply 
them with the courage of which they stood in need. 

The harmony of Dona Sancha's married life was 
probably no more disturbed by her husband's exploits 
as troubadour than that of any other lady of the period 
when her lord sang in other ears of love and loveliness. 
The lady for whom Don Alfonso II wrote the one poem 
of his that survives, as Mr. Justin H. Smith reminds us 
in the fascinating pages of his Troubadours at Home, 
was the beautiful Lady Alazais, wife of Bernat de 
Boissezon, first celebrated by the verses of Arnaut de 


Maruelh. The poem in question, characterized by 
Mr. Smith as "not so very bad for a king," runs as 
follows : 

Few the joys to me denied, 
Pleasures bloom on every side, 
And in groves and meadows wide, 
'Midst the flowers and the trees, 
Choirs of merry songsters bide, 
Vocal in the freshening breeze ; 
But nor snow nor summertide 
Can my heart a song provide, 
Save as God and Love may please. 

Yet, to glad my joy and pride, 
Verdure, sun, and sky outvied 
By sweet birds that hedges hide 
Cheer and set my heart at ease ; 
For delight is now my guide, 
So a lady fair decrees ; 
Honour and worth in her reside 
Joy and beauty, wit beside ; 
Naught I grudge, her heart to appease. 

Beauty, goodness, worth, o'erride 
All my fears, my course decide ; 
I would stay and hear her chide, 
Drink her harshness to the lees, 
Though the sweetest lady sighed, 
Fain to cure my heart's disease ; 
Here am I, whate'er betide, 
None my fealty shall divide, 
If she'll deign to heed my pleas. 

Strained relations, indeed, threatened for a time to 
make shipwreck of the domestic happiness of Don 
Alfonso and his Queen, but the incident from which 
they took their rise, and which is but briefly alluded to 
by chroniclers of the period, was purely political. 
According to contemporary authorities, " the King 
being occupied with the affairs of Provence " (of which 
he was Count, by inheritance on the paternal side), 
" the Queen entered the Countship of Ribagorza, and 
took possession of the fortresses and castles there, which 
belonged to the Crown/' These were, probably, how- 


ever, part of her own dowry ; but we are without 
details of the matrimonial quarrel which ensued upon 
Dona Sancha's high-handed action, which took place 
in 1177. 

Left a widow in 1196, Dona Sancha almost im- 
mediately retired to the convent of her foundation, at 
Si jena, thus enrolling herself amongst the long line of 
royal ladies who, on the decease of their lords, exchanged 
the title of Queen in the world for that of Regina Deo 
dicata in the cloister. Quadrado asserts that the im- 
pulse which gave the widowed Queen to the religious 
life was neither the irresistible sense of vocation nor that 
of incurable grief at the death of her husband, but the 
wounds dealt her by the ungrateful conduct of her son, 
who, on his accession to the throne 'as Don Pedro II, 
promptly relegated his mother to the rank of a mere 
figurehead in the affairs of State. Later, however, recon- 
ciliation seems to have taken place between mother and 
son, for we are told that, on the rare occasions when the 
royal religious emerged from her cloister, it was to 
have interviews with Don Pedro, probably to place at 
his disposal the treasures of her ripe experience and 
maternal counsel-, spurned in the headstrong thought- 
lessness of his youth, but eagerly sought in the graver 
crisis of his manhood. 

Dona Sancha entered the Convent of Sijena, whose 
first Prioress, Dona Sancha de Abiego, chosen by the 
royal founder herself, was possibly a godchild, as a 
home-coming. She had already given to the convent 
of her predilection a little daughter, Dona Dulce, 
sweetly named for her ancestress of Provence who 
brought Provencal melody to Barcelona, but the child, 
as recorded in the convent archives, had " passed from 
the earthly to the heavenly cloisters " on February 3, 
1189, in the eleventh year of her age and the ninth 
month of her profession. The simple inscription on her 
tomb reads thus : " Dulce, a Sister, the daughter of the 
King and Queen/' Another daughter of Dona Sancha, 
Dona Leonor, was less fortunate than the little Dulce. 


Brought up by the nuns of Sijena, she was taken from 
their sheltering care in 1200 to become the wife of 
Ramon, Count of Toulouse, whence she returned, two 
years later, a broken-hearted and deserted wife, to end 
her days at her mother's side. To this Aragonese In- 
fanta, the famous troubadour, Aimeric de Peguilha, 
addressed some of his loveliest canzones. 

Dona Sancha and her daughters were surrounded, 
within the walls of the cloister, by the bearers of the 
noblest names in the Aragonese aristocracy, such as 
those of Entenza, Urrea, 1 Lizana, Losa, Moncada, and 
others. No less illustrious were those who rilled the 
most menial offices in the convent. Thus, Alais, 
Countess of Armagnac, was sacristan there in the 
thirteenth century ; whilst a Countess of Barcelos, 
daughter-in-law of St. Isabel of Portugal, was professed 
there at a later date. Contemporary documents attest 
that Sijena, besides being a favourite retreat for noble 
and royal ladies who assumed the veil, was also a 
select educational establishment for their young daugh- 
ters and sisters. Thus, in 1212, Don Pedro II paid the 
sum of 6000 sueldos to the Prioress for the school fees 
of his sister, Dona Leonor ; whilst at a later date we 
shall find certain nuns of Sijena summoned to Barcelona 
in order to take in hand the neglected education of a 
Queen of Aragon. 

From the " great famine and pestilence " which 
marked the year of Don Alfonso's death, 2 Dona Sancha, 
as we have seen, passed to the cloister. The cross of the 
Order of St. John of Jerusalem, which she then assumed, 
she wore to the end of her life. The formula of her 
profession was as follows : "I, Sancha, by the grace of 
God, Queen of Aragon, Countess of Barcelona, and 
Marchioness of Provence, offer myself to the Lord God, 
to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to Blessed John of Jerusa- 

1 Don Pedro de Urrea, at his death, bequeathed his daughter Sancha, 
a namesake, and possibly a godchild, of the Queen, to Dona Sancha's 

2 At Perpignan, April 25, 1196. 


lem, and the sick poor of Jerusalem, in life and in 
death, and I desire to be interred in the said Monastery." 

The last year of her life, 1208, was concerned, we are 
told, with the arrangements for the re-marriage of her 
daughter, Dona Constanza, widow of Emeric, King of 
Hungary, to Frederic II, King of Sicily, the bride being 
entertained at Sijena prior to her departure from Aragon. 
The same September brought another and more tragic 
guest to the convent, a traveller also, but bound on 
what a different journey ! For Dona Constanza, still 
in the flush of early womanhood, was passing, with the 
acclamations of two nations, to assume, for the second 
time, a bridal and a royal crown, whilst for Marie de 
Montpellier, her unhappy sister-in-law, who also visited 
Dona Sancha on the eve of her last sorrowful pilgrimage 
to Rome, death waited, in friendliest guise, at its 

In November, 1208, the royal nun breathed her last 
amongst her sister religious, by whom she was interred 
in a niche near the High Altar of their church. On her 
tomb was subsequently carved her effigy, with scenes 
from her life. In one, she was portrayed ascending to 
heaven, supported by two angels. " From time imme- 
morial," says a modern writer who has collected the 
traditions of Sijena, " a certain cult was paid to 
their foundress by the community, a cult of mingled 
reverence and gratitude " ; and he adds, that " on the 
very rare occasions when the slab was raised from her 
tomb, none could contemplate without tears of devotion 
the long-since-withered corpse, which continued to pre- 
serve throughout the centuries its long and ruddy hair." 
Yet another pious tradition of the Order was to the 
effect that, in times of scarcity, when the daily dole of 
the poor had to be curtailed, tears of blood seemed to 
issue from the tomb of the pious Queen, as though she 
wept over the failure of charity and the want of faith 
in God, on the part of her successors. 



Accession of Ramiro II to the throne of Aragon, 1134. 

Dispensed from his vows and married to Inez of Poitiers, 1134. 

Birth of their daughter, Dona Petronilla, 1135. 

Betrothed to Ramon Berenger, Count of Barcelona, 1137. 

Abdication of Ramiro II, Regency of Ramon Berenger, 1137. 

Marriage of Doiia Petronilla at Lerida, 1151. 

Birth of their son, Alfonso, 1152. Dona Petronilla's will made on this 
occasion, afterwards excluded women from the throne of Aragon. 

Death of Count Ramon Berenger, 1162. Dona Petronilla reigned alone, 
1162-1163. Abdicated in favour of her son, 1163. Died, 1173. Manners 
and customs of her times. 

Marriage of Alfonso II to Sancha of Castile, 1174. The King as 
troubadour and patron of jongleurs. Political differences between the 
King and Queen, 1177. 

Dona Sancha widowed, 1196. Embraces religious life at Sijena. Her 
daughters. Her death, 1208. Her cult. 



THE death of Alfonso II, which occurred April 25, 1196, 
at Perpignan, called to the throne of Aragon, under the 
tutelage of the Queen-Dowager, Dona Sancha, until 
the attainment of his twentieth year, their eldest son, 
Pedro, second of the name in Aragon. The early days 
of the new reign were filled with the last offices of pious 
and filial homage at the bier of the dead King, whose 
mortal remains were brought from the capital of Roussil- 
lon to the Monastery of Poblet, where he had directed 
that they should be laid, thus inaugurating the rivalry 
which henceforth subsisted between Poblet and San 
Juan de la Pena as pantheons of Aragon 's illustrious 
dead. Funeral honours having been paid to the late 
monarch, the nation proceeded to the confirmation of 
the young King in his inherited rights. In the following 
autumn, in Cortes convoked at Daroca, " with the will 
and consent of the Queen/' Pedro assumed his full 
responsibilities, and entered felicitously on his reign. 
Friction between mother and son unhappily arose to 
trouble both Court and kingdom, but the intervention 
of Alfonso VIII of Castile succeeded in bringing about 
a reconciliation at Ariza. Pedro next appears in the 
character of peacemaker himself, the contending parties 
in this instance being his brother, Alfonso, Count of 
Provence, and the Count Guillermo de Folcarquer. 
Some chroniclers aver that, in return for his friendly 
offices, the latter nobleman bestowed upon the Ara- 
gonese sovereign the hand of his niece, a lady of great 
beauty. Her name does not appear, however, among 
the Queens of Aragon. 

F 81 


For eight years, while the shadow of the Keys was 

falling darkly on the domestic happiness of his brother 

sovereigns of Leon and Castile, Pedro happily evaded 

it. For the fulfilment of a secret ambition which he 

alone, of all the Kings of Aragon who had preceded him, 

seems to have cherished, the friendship of Rome was 

necessary to him. If, indeed, he was not altogether 

free from Papal suspicion in the matter of his tolerance 

of the Paulician heresy, he appeared to be in no danger 

of contracting a marriage within the prohibited degrees, 

and thus unsheathing against him and his kingdom the 

two-edged sword of excommunication and interdict 

which was the chosen weapon of the Chair of St. Peter 

in the Middle Ages. He ruled in lonely state over the 

Court to which, like his father before him, he bade 

the troubadours welcome. In his boyhood he had 

known and listened to the songs of that gifted but 

eccentric exponent of the Gay Science, Peire Vidal, 

who " sang better than any other poet in the world, 

and was one of the most foolish men who ever lived," 

and who passed, two years after the accession of Pedro, 

to the Court of his brother-in-law, Emeric, King of 

Hungary, whose Queen was Constance, daughter of 

Alfonso II. At the Court of King Pedro sang Perdigon, 

the fisherman's son, Hugh of St. Circ, Raymond of 

Miraval, who " loved many ladies and made many 

good songs upon them," notably the Lady Azalais, and 

many another wandering minstrel, to the music of 

whose harps, and rotes, and vielles, their kingly patron 

doubtless oft-times shaped his dream of vaster and 

more accredited sovereignty. In the late autumn of 

1204, he at length disclosed that dream. It was nothing 

less than his determination to proceed to Rome to be 

crowned there by the Sovereign Pontiff himself, his 

predecessors having hitherto been content with the 

simple ceremony of their acknowledgment as King b} 

their assembled subjects, and with the equally simple 

assumption, either on their attaining the age of twenty 

or on the occasion of their marriage, of knightly rani 


and honours. Pedro II, no less a lover of pomp and 
show than a later namesake who was to wear his crown, 
desired a more imposing function than these. Escorted 
by a stately flotilla and attended by a noble following of 
Catalan and Proven9al knights, Pedro set out on his 
journey to Italy, landing at Ostia, to be received, by 
direction of the Pope, by as splendid a retinue, eccle- 
siastical and secular, as any monarch could have wished. 
On the following day, November 3, 1204, after being 
solemnly anointed, he received from the hand of Inno- 
cent III the Royal Insignia, Crown, Sceptre, and Orb, 
the first-named of these, it is said, having been made 
of unleavened bread, with jewels inset, in order to 
oblige the Pope to crown the King with his hand, and 
not with his foot, as was customary. Laying both 
Crown and Sceptre on the altar of St. Peter's, the King, 
girt with baldrick, in token of his double knighthood, 
in the world and in the Church, offered to the Pope, in 
return for the high honour conferred upon him of 
Gonfalonier, or standard-bearer of the Holy Roman 
Church, the vassalage of his entire kingdom, promising 
to pay an annual tribute to the Holy See of 250 golden 
maravedis, a promise and submission which were both 
indignantly repudiated later by the proud and free- 
dom-loving Aragonese. For the moment, however, 
Pedro saw his dream fulfilled, a fulfilment to be practi- 
cally and visibly brought to mind every time hereafter 
he should see the banner of Aragon fluttering in the 
breeze, its colours, red and yellow, being henceforth 
identical with that of the Gonfalon of Rome. At the 
same time, Innocent III bestowed upon all the future 
Queen- Consorts of Aragon the right to be anointed 
and crowned with all the same ceremonies as their 
lords, with this exception, that, although they were to 
receive the Sacrament of Unction from the hands of the 
Archbishop of Zaragoza, Crown, Sceptre, Orb, and 
Ring were to be bestowed upon them by the hands of 
the King himself. There still remained to Pedro II the 
choice of his consort. It was not destined to be propitious. 


Twice in the history of Aragon, the marriage-motives 
of its Kings would appear, at first sight, to have been 
inspired by the praiseworthy and chivalrous desire to 
make reparation for an ancient affront offered by one of 
their kin to the chosen bride or to her house. In both 
cases, the result was disastrous ; in the one instance, to 
the first family of the bridegroom ; in the other, to the 
bride herself. It is the latter of these which comes first 
in point of time. 

It will be remembered that Alfonso II had been the 
fickle suitor, prior to his marriage with Dona Sancha of 
Castile, of Eudoxia, daughter of the Emperor Manuel, 
of the Greek House of Comnenus. The circumstances 
of the affront offered by the Sovereign of Aragon to the 
Greek Princess have already been narrated, together 
with her eventual marriage to Guillaume VIII, Seig- 
neur of Montpellier. Romantic as the alliance seemed 
which thus sought to compensate her for the higher 
destiny of which she had been rudely cheated, romance, 
if it had ever existed, quickly flared out on the conjugal 
hearth of Guillaume and his Greek bride. Naturally 
haughty and capricious, Eudoxia was permanently 
embittered by the insult which had robbed her of a 
crown, and, after the birth of a daughter, even the out- 
ward semblance of harmony between husband and wife 
came to a close. For the second time, an arrow of 
affront was to wing its way from the Court of Aragon 
to the heart of Eudoxia. Whilst a guest at that Court 
with which the Lords of Montpellier had always main- 
tained the closest relations, Guillaume VII having 
married Sibilia de Mataplana, a noble lady of Aragon, 
Guillaume VIIFs roving fancy was caught by the beauty 
of Agnes of Castile, a kinswoman of Queen Sancha, and 
a member of her household. With characteristic 
mediaeval effrontery, the Seigneur of Montpellier re- 
turned to his lordship accompanied by his mistress, 
whom he insisted on regarding as his lawful wife, in spite 
of all the threats and thunders of the Church. The un- 
happy Eudoxia, in fear of her life, fled to the Convent oJ 


Aniane, that ancient little town where no trace remains 
to-day of her refuge. Still more luckless than her 
mother, the only child of Eudoxia found herself aban- 
doned at her father's Court to the mercies of a step- 
mother to whom the silent protest of her innocent 
presence must have been an intolerable reproof. At 
the age of twelve, the little Marie was bestowed in 
marriage upon Barral, Vicomte de Marseille, who, how- 
ever, shortly after, left his child-bride a widow, with 
500 silver marks, which were immediately confiscated 
by Agnes. For three years, the child- Viscountess was 
allowed to dwell on sufferance at her father's Court. 
Then, a second marriage banished her once more 
from what could scarcely have been a home. The 
chosen bridegroom was Bernard de Comminges, an 
elderly roue, who had already divorced two wives, and 
who was credited with holding the lax theories regarding 
marriage which were commonly attributed by their 
enemies to the heretic Albigenses. His second divorce, 
from Condor, daughter of Arnauld Guillaume de Barca, 
was doubtless facilitated by the eagerness of Guillaume 
de Montpellier and Agnes of Castile to get rid of the 
unfortunate child whom they sacrificed to him, for the 
decree of divorce was pronounced in November, 1197, 
and a month later took place the marriage with Marie de 
Montpellier, the bride's dowry being 200 marks of fine 
silver and her wedding garments, the Count's bridal 
gift being the Chateau of Murel. If a son was bom to 
them, he was to inherit all his father's property ; if a 
daughter or daughters, all, except Comminges, La 
Montagne-Deserte being reserved for his son by Condor 
de Barca. Bernard de Comminges had apparently 
much in common with his faithless father-in-law. 
While his young wife was expecting the birth of a 
second child, which proved, like the first, to be a daugh- 
ter, her husband took a fourth wife. Marie appealed to 
the Pope, who instantly commanded the Archbishop of 
Narbonne and the Bishop of Comminge, also the Chapter 
of Auch and of Toulouse, to compel the Count of Com- 


minges, under penalt}^ of ecclesiastical censure, to recall 
his lawful wife, whom he had repudiated without reason, 
and to treat her as a husband should, with all conjugal 
affection. The death of Bernard de Comminges, which 
seems to have occurred about 1201, at which date we 
find several vassal knights doing homage to Marie and 
her two daughters, Mathilde and Petronilla, for certain 
castles held by them, gave Marie de Montpellier her 
welcome freedom. The death of her father, in 1204, 
made her, by universal consent of the inhabitants of 
Montpellier, their sovereign lady, to the exclusion of 
the illegitimate half-brothers who threatened to seize 
her inheritance. A third marriage was at once pro- 
posed for her. It was more brilliant, but destined to be 
no less ill-fated, than the others. Pedro II of Aragon 
was then at the height of his fame as the knightly ideal 
of his times. Since that fame had reached to the king- 
dom of Jerusalem, whose young Queen, Marie, the 
daughter and sole heiress of Queen Isabel and the 
Marquis Conrado, had been offered in marriage to the 
Sovereign of Aragon, small wonder that the same ideal 
had attracted the prud'hommes of Montpellier, anxious 
to bestow their lady in safe and honourable keeping. 
While the one Marie was taking a solemn oath, in the 
presence of the prelates and nobles of her kingdom, to 
accept the King of Aragon as her husband, for the good 
of the Holy Land, Pedro, attracted less by the virtues 
of the other than by the opportunity presented through 
her lordship of extending the power of Aragon in the 
South of France, had become the husband of the 
widowed Comtesse de Comminges. If she had hoped 
to be compensated for the troubles of her former 
marriage with the crown of a Queen-Consort, disillusion 
waited on Marie de Montpellier no less rudely than 
it had waited on Eudoxia of Constantinople before her. 
Aragon was a name of ill-omen for both mother and 
daughter. Patron of troubadours and ideal knight as 
he was, Pedro II was not the man to be held by virtue, 
and he had married a saint. " She was a very saintly 


person," writes the old Catalan chronicler, Eamon 
Muntaner, " as dear to God as to men " ; but one man 
at least was at no pains to disguise his frank aversion 
from the woman he had married from purely political 
motives, even before they had returned, man and wife, 
to the Palace of Montpellier. There is no record of her 
coronation a strange omission, seeing that she should 
have been the first to avail herself of the recently 
granted Papal permission to receive the Consort's 
crown of Aragon and it would appear that the Courts 
of Barcelona and Zaragoza knew her not. None of 
the Queens of Aragon, indeed, were so little queens, 
save in name, as Marie de Montpellier. Her lordship 
soon rang with tales of her husband's gallantries and 
of his flagrant neglect of his wife. She had learned meek 
patience in a hard school, and was doubtless inured to 
conjugal coldness and cruelty. But the plain and 
practical prud'hommes and councillors of her seigniory 
were cast in rougher mould. Meekness was not a 
weapon with which they were disposed to challenge 
even so powerful a sovereign as their new lord. Jealous 
for the honour of their lady, and bitterly resenting the 
treatment which she was receiving at the hands of a 
husband who openly declared himself to be so in name 
only, they determined to take matters into their own 
hands. How, in connivance with one of Pedro's own 
grandees, Guillen de Alcala, with the blessing of the 
Church, and the prayers of a whole city, they tricked 
the King, by a device truly mediaeval in its sly quaint- 
ness, may be read in the pages of Zurita, Muntaner, and 
other chroniclers of the time. The romance of Marie de 
Montpellier's third marriage lay, not in the love of a 
husband which was never hers but rather, in the 
" miraculous " birth, as it was called, of her son, after- 
wards to be the greatest of the Kings of Aragon, under 
the name of James the Conqueror. The birth of their 
son does not seem to have drawn husband and wife any 
nearer. Before the child's advent, indeed, Pedro, 
furious and mortified, rode at full gallop out of Mont- 


pellier, only intent henceforth on ridding himself of a 
yoke grown still more intolerable than before. 

The baby Prince, who was afterwards to be one of the 
most illustrious figures in the roll of the Kings of 
Aragon, was born at Montpellier, as he himself tells us 
in his Chronicle, "in the house of the Tornamira, the 
eve of Our Lady Saint Mary, Candlemas Day (Feb. 1, 
1208). " " And my mother," he adds, " as soon as I was 
born, sent me to Saint Mary's " (Our Lady of the 
Tables) ; " they carried me in their arms ; matins were 
being said in Our Lady's Church, and as they took me 
through the porch they sang Te Deum Laudamus. 
The clergy did not notice the arrival of those who carried 
me, as when they entered they were singing that 
canticle. And then I was taken to Saint Fermin, and 
when those who carried me entered the church the 
priests were singing Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel. 
And when they took me back to my mother's house, she 
was very glad because of those prognostics that had 
happened/' From the same authority we learn that 
the illustrious infant came by his name in the following 
manner : his pious mother " made twelve candles all 
of them of one weight and size, and had them lighted 
all together, and gave to each the name of an Apostle, 
and vowed to our Lord that I should be christened by 
the name of that which lasted longest. And so it 
happened that the candle that went by the name of 
Saint James lasted a good three fingers' breadth more 
than all the others. And owing to that circumstance, 
and to the grace of God, I was christened ' En(Don) 
Jacme/ " 

The baptism of the little Infante coincided with the 
commencement of that long process of divorce which 
his father, unmindful of his solemn oath, "on the Holy 
Gospels, that he would never separate from his wife 
nor take another in her lifetime, and always remain 
faithful to her," now set on foot. His shameless appeal 
to Innocent III, that masterful Pope who, as Green 
writes in his History of the English People, " had pushed 


the claims of supremacy of the Papacy over Christendom 
farther than any of his predecessors/' was, however, to 
prove him truly a Father in God to the unhappy 
lady whose fresh matrimonial complications were now, 
for the second time, submitted to his august tribunal. 
The grounds upon which Pedro sought his freedom were 
the previous marriage of his Queen to the Comte de 
Comminges, and her distant relationship to himself. 
Into these matters, the Pope commanded the Bishop 
of Pampeluna and two legates, appointed to assist him, 
to enquire. Death having removed the latter, the 
Archbishop of Narbonne and the Abbot of Citeaux were 
directed to take their places. These ecclesiastical 
judges were confronted with a tangle indeed. Marie 
de Montpellier did not dispute her previous union she 
had never done so but she now contended that it had 
been one of compulsion. Next, she demanded that 
the cause should be remitted to Eome, where she herself 
proceeded, to bear witness in her own defence. Her 
husband, meanwhile, in accordance with the wishes of 
the Pope, was busied in the matrimonial negotiations 
of his widowed sister, Constance, Queen of Hungary, 
with Frederic, King of Sicily. While his own divorce 
proceedings were pending at Eome, Pedro was cele- 
brating, with all the customary splendour of the 
Aragonese Court, the marriage, by proxy, of his sister 
at Zaragoza. Thence the bride proceeded to Provence, 
where she embarked, escorted by her brother, Alfonso, 
Count of Provence, and a great retinue, for Sicily. 

Not until January, 1213, was sentence delivered in the 
matter of the Aragonese divorce. By it, Marie de 
Montpellier was declared to be the lawful wife of 
Pedro II, the Pope " requesting and advising " the 
King to receive the Queen kindly, " for the safety of his 
conscience/' remembering that he had an heir by her, 
while, " being so faithful a servant of God/' her Queen- 
ship should be of great value to the Church and to 
Aragon. The Bishops of Carcassone and Avignon were 
charged to threaten the King with the utmost ecclesiasti- 


cal penalties if he did not forthwith comply with the 
Papal mandate. In spite of this, however, there seems 
to have been no attempt at a reconciliation. Marie 
never returned from Rome, where she died in 1213, a 
year before Pedro himself fell at the battle of Muret. 
By her will, she left all her possessions to her son. In 
case of his death without heirs, they passed to her two 
daughters, married to Sancho de Barra and Centulle, 
Comte d'Estarac. If they in turn died without heirs, 
or entered convents, Ramon Gaucelin, Seigneur de 
Lunel, and his sons, were designated heirs. At his wife's 
death, Pedro, in violation of the promise made at the 
time of their marriage in 1204, handed over Montpellier 
to Guillaume, bastard brother of the dead Queen. His 
sons held high offices and made rich marriages in Aragon 
in the reign of Jaime I. 

Marie de Montpellier was buried in St. Peter's at 
Rome, beside St. Petronilla, spiritual daughter of the 
tutelar. Of his mother, James the Conqueror wrote in 
his Chronicle : "As regards the Queen, our mother, 
suffice it to say that, if ever there was a good woman in 
the world, it was she. She feared, loved, and honoured 
God, and was endowed with so many perfections, that 
it may be said, once for all, that she was esteemed by all 
who knew her virtues. So great was her love of God, 
and such grace did He grant her, that within and with- 
out Rome, she merited to be called the Sainted Queen." 
The King adds that many sick persons were known to 
have been healed by the powdered scrapings from the 
stone of her tomb, mixed with wine or water. 

Marie de Montpellier partakes of that elusive quality 
which is characteristic of the Queens of Aragon. She 
lived and died much alone. Perhaps she found her only 
consolation in the humble affection of her two serving- 
women, that Fisendia to whom she bequeathed her 
mantle, garnacha, pall, tunic, and new pelisse of scarlet, 
and a second garnacha of green cloth, and that Gulielma, 
to whom she gave another garnacha of black cloth and 
a scarlet pelisse. 


The Court over which Marie de Montpellier should 
have reigned was exceptionally rich in both local 
and errant troubadours. Chief amongst the former 
was the famous Hugo de Mataplana, head of the 
illustrious Catalan family of his name, who held his 
magnificent Court in his ancestral castle near Ripoll, 
where, as we learn from his friend and protege, Ramon 
Vidal of Bezalu, fantastic knotty points of the Courts 
of Love in almost every European centre of the cult 
were submitted to his arbitration. Vidal depicts the 
noble troubadour for us presiding over the scenes of 
joyful festivity which were characteristic of every day 
in the Castle of Mataplana. We see him, surrounded by 
his baronial confreres, gracious ladies and brave knights, 
seated at the princely board, or, the tables cleared, 
playing at dice or chess, reclining on carpets and 
cushions, green, red, white, blue, and crimson, engaged 
in " sweet and courteous discourse," or listening to the 
" cancions " of the jongleurs, summoned to entertain 
the noble and sympathetic audience. There, we may 
well believe, " the sweet love- time of the spring " was 
for ever being born anew, " the time wherein buds, and 
boughs, and flowers, burst forth afresh, when as yet no 
frost nor snow chills the temperate air." The Lord of 
Mataplana was not only patron, but poet. We hear of 
his engaging in that form of poetical contest known as 
the " tension " with the jongleur Reculaire, with 
Blacasset, the son of Blacas, other specimens of his art 
being a sirvente against Miraval. The restless Ramon 
Vidal, the friend as well as the prctege of Hugo de 
Mataplana, spent much of his time, when travelling 
through France and Spain, at the Castle of Mataplana, 
where he was scarcely less sumptuously housed than at 
the King's Court, where he also sojourned on these pil- 
grimages. Other troubadours who were habitues of the 
Court of Pedro II were Guiraldo Borneil, Guillermo de 
Tudela, Folquet de Lunel, Pablo Lanfranc de Pistoya, 
and others. We read of Azemar the Black, Guido de 
Uisel, who sang the eulogy of " his conquests, his gifts, 


and his gallantries/' and of Guillermo de Magret, a 
jongleur of Viana, who lavished the most fulsome praises 
on his royal patron, as well as Aimeric de Pegulha, 
Guiraldo de Calanson, and Hugo de Saint- Circ, who 
visited the Court of Aragon in company with his patron, 
Savarico de Mauleo. To the city of Montpellier, the 
lordship of the unhappy Marie, belongs the little-known 
troubadour, Pedro de Bergerac, who sang of the shield, 
the sword, and the battle in relation to the family dis- 
putes which raged around the succession of Montpellier. 
The youth, so full of promise destined never to be 
realized, of Don Pedro, inspired a celebrated composi- 
tion, known as the Romance of Geoffrey, in which the 
unknown poet describes, under the figure of a legendary 
king, the virtues of the young King of Aragon. 


Accession of Don Pedro II, 1196. He proceeds to Rome to be crowned 
by the Pope, 1204. On the same occasion the Pope confers upon the 
Queens of Aragon the right to be crowned at Zaragoza. Marie de Mont- 
pellier, her ancestry, and unhappy childhood, and first marriage, 1197. 

Married to Pedro II, 1204. 

Birth of Jaime the Conqueror, 1208. Romantic circumstances atten- 
dant on his birth. 

King endeavours to repudiate the Queen, 1209-1213. In the latter 
year, their marriage pronounced canonical. The Queen dies at Rome. 
Her will, her children, reputation for sanctity. Reputed miracles at her 
tomb. Troubadours at the Court of Don Pedro II. 



" HE was the goodliest prince in the world, and the wisest 
and the most gracious and the most upright, and one 
that was loved more than any king ever was, of all men, 
both of his own subjects and strangers, and of noble 
gentlemen everywhere." 

It is Ramon Muntaner who thus writes of Jaime I 
of Aragon ; the honest, courteous knight and loyal 
servitor of the sovereign in whose quarrels he was as 
quick to unsheathe his sword as he was content to wait 
upon his state in peace. To later generations, indeed, 
the picture reads as the grossest flattery. For it, Jaime 
the Conqueror (glory of Aragon though he was), as we 
know him lustful, passionate, coarse, faithless never 
sat. But for Muntaner, the colours were unsullied by 
any flaw. Far otherwise, it maybe, his Queens would 
have drawn the portrait. 

The son of Pedro II, " slain by a song," as his trouba- 
dours had it, at Muret, was in safety at the moment of 
his father's death, though bestowed in the custody of 
that father's sworn foe, Simon de Montfort ; for the 
all-powerful Innocent III was a true friend to the 
orphaned boy, as he had been to his saintly mother. 
By Papal mandate, the child-King was at once removed 
from the guardianship of de Montfort, conducted to 
Lerida, where the barons of Aragon swore fealty to him, 
and then committed to the care of the Master of the 
Templars, Guillen de Monredon, by whom he was placed 
in the Castle of Monzon, together with his cousin and 
constant companion, the young Count of Provence. If 



ever Aragon had needed a strong arm and it was her 
crying need many a time in her history she needed it 
now, when the kingdom was torn by contending factions, 
her King a child, and his foes those of his own house- 
hold, in the persons of his uncles, Don Sancho and Don 
Fernando. When men, distracted by open and covert 
rebellion, looked to the throne for solace or solution, 
they only saw a little boy, vigorous indeed for his age, 
both in mind and body, but virtually a prisoner, with 
the promise of future glory as yet hidden alike from his 
people and from him. But boys' thoughts, then as now, 
were " long, long thoughts/' and together the boy 
kinsmen dreamed and talked in secret of freedom and 
of the place and duties that awaited them in the world 
outside their prison walls. It was to Ramon Berenger 
that freedom came first, the young Count making his 
escape under cover of the night from Monzon, and 
speeding away to his countship, there to be welcomed 
with hearty rejoicings by his subjects of Provence. It 
was at dawn, a few months later, that his royal young 
kinsman followed him along the path to liberty. Clad, 
for the first time in his life, in armour, borrowed from 
one of his knights, and traversing a country bristling 
with the spies and armed bands of his uncle, Don Sancho, 
the young King reached Huesca without adventure, and 
proceeding thence to Zaragoza, made his solemn entry 
into the capital of Aragon amid the enthusiastic welcome 
of his subjects. Men felt the needed strong arm was 
at length at their service, though their King was still 
a child. Confirmation of the treasured privileges of the 
municipalities and generous reconciliation with his 
revolting kinsmen gave peace to the distracted kingdom. 
The sun of this most glorious reign in all the annals of 
Aragon was not yet fully risen above the horizon, but 
there was abundant promise in its rays. Jaime I had 
come early to his throne ; he was called no less early to 
enter upon the responsibilities of married life. His 
marriage was indeed a matter of urgent and vital im- 
portance, both for himself and for his kingdom. He 


had not, as so many of his predecessors, a wise kins- 
woman at hand grandmother, sister, or aunt to make 
his Court a home and to assist his youth with her riper 
judgment. The more need, therefore, of a wife. The 
human factor was of no account ; security of the 
succession and safeguarding of the realm, everything. 
The choice was not the King's, but his counsellors'. 
With one consent, and by foregone conclusion, their 
eyes turned in the direction of Castile. Prudence and 
policy alike dictated the wisdom of summoning to the 
side of this King of thirteen years a sister of that 
Dona Berenguela who was the glory, not of Castile and 
Leon alone, but of all Spain, even to this day. It was 
from this noble and illustrious Princess herself, doubt- 
less, that the ambassadors of Aragon sought the hand 
of the Princess Leonor ; it was she who accompanied V 
the bride to Agreda, where her marriage with the boy 
bridegroom was celebrated with regal pomp and splen- 
dour in February, 1221, the brilliant escort of Castilian 
and Leonese knights who attended the bride and her 
noble relatives being matched by the young King's 
magnificent retinue of prelates, nobles, and grandees. 
Dona Leonor 's jointure consisted of the towns of 
Daroca, Epila, Pina, and Uncastillo, the city of Bar- 
bastro, Tamarite, Montalvan, Cervera, and the hill- 
country of Prades and Siurana. Immediately after his 
marriage the King armed himself knight in the Cathedral 
of Tarragona, whence he proceeded to Huesca, where 
he convoked the Cortes, accompanied throughout his 
itinerary by his Queen. We gather next to nothing of 
the married life of Leonor of Castile. We cannot be 
sure that she possessed sufficient charm of person or 
strength of mind to hold and shape according to her 
will the boyhood to which she had been bound for reasons 
of state. It may have been but the denial of oppor- 
tunity, the clashing of contrary wills, that withheld 
from Aragon such a Queen as Berenguela was to Castile. 
There are yet, however, certain casual allusions and vivid, 
though passing incidents, recorded for the most part in 


the Chronicle of Don Jaime himself which are not 
without their suggestion that, but for disparity of years, 
or some more obscure cause at which we cannot now 
even faintly guess, the first marriage of the Conqueror 
might well have proved a happy one. The King him- 
self bears witness that from the first to last Dona Leonor 
was ever at his side and in his councils, as was her right 
as Queen - Consort. From Agreda, where they were 
married, to Tarragona, where the boy bridegroom 
" having first heard the mass of the Holy Ghost " in the 
Church of St. Mary of Orta, " girt himself with a sword, 
which he took from the altar " ; from Tarragona " into 
Aragon and Catalonia/' the Chronicle repeatedly reads, 
" my wife, the Queen, with me." The King is at Huesca, 
" and the Queen also " ; " in the presence of the Queen/' 
he learns of the revolt of Guillen de Moncada ; she 
accompanies him to Alagon, where two hundred knights, 
adherents of Moncada, are let into the town during the 
night. It is to her that he rushes, with all a boy's im- 
pulsive indignation, though with never a hint of fear, 
with the astounding and unpleasant news ; " and I 
said to the Queen Dona Leonor, ' Know ye that all the 
knights who came with Don Fernando and with En 
(Don) Guillen de Moncada and with Don Pedro Ahones, 
are already inside the town ? ' The wife, doubtless, 
sat by, helpless as the husband, while the conspirators 
" cajoled them so with fair tales and words/' that both 
permitted themselves to be escorted next day to Zara- 
goza. " And when I was inside and in my own palace, 
called La Suda, at the Toledo gate, they came and told 
us after sunset that there were fully one hundred armed 
men between the aforesaid gate and a postern there was 
close by, through which one got to the city wall. Soon 
after Guillen Boy and Pere Sanz de Martel came, sent 
by the people of Zaragoza, and entered my house ; they 
had their beds made, and laid down where the women 
usually lay. Meanwhile, the Queen, hearing the noise of 
the armed men who remained outside, and of those who 
had entered the house to lie down before us, took to 


weeping very bitterly. I comforted her," adds this 
fourteen-year-old husband, " as well as I could." He 
was at least kind to her in those days. " And there 
came in before me," he continues, " the said Guillen 
Boy and Pere Sanz de Martel ; and Guillen Boy said to 
the Queen, ' Lady/ said he, ' do not weep ; for soon you 
will be comforted ; tears destroy reason ; and all those 
tears of yours will turn to joy, and your anger will pass 
away/ ' Did any of her entourage, or either of those 
insolent midnight intruders, reflect, it maybe, in what a 
wholly different spirit her elder sister, Berenguela the 
Great, would most certainly have confronted them ? 
Not with tears, but with calm courage, as Dona Leonor 
herself must have recalled, for she had shared the 
captivity of the Queen-Regent of Castile, in the Castle of 
Antillo, near Palencia, when the latter had been hard 
pressed by the all-powerful de Laras. But before the 
end of their three weeks' imprisonment, Dona Leonor 
had so far recovered her courage and dried her tears, that 
we find her absolutely refusing to forsake the King in his 
extremity, when the latter advised her to seize the one 
chance of escape which was open to her. " I went to the 
Queen," he says, " and said to her, ' Well do I know 
and see the hurt and dishonour that you and I are suffer- 
ing ; and though I am still a child, I intend having my 
revenge, and you will also, if you will only follow my 
advice/ Then I said to her : ' In this house there is a 
trap-door leading to a subterraneous passage ; I will get 
two ropes ; I will seat you on a board, and lower you 
down ; then I will send for En Artal d'Alagon, that he 
may come here with his men this very night that we are 
to do this ; and when we know that he has arrived, you 
will go out of the house by the door below, and Don 
Artal will go with you, and I will remain here at Zaragoza. 
I dare not attempt anything for fear of their hurting 
you ; but as soon as you have gone away, I will address 
Don Fernando, and Don Guillen de Moncada, or Don 
Pedro Ahones, and will tell them that they all did 
treason in what they did against me/ But the Queen 


replied : ' Know ye that for nothing in the world will 
I be lowered down from this on a board with ropes/ 
And I begged and entreated her much, but she would 
not do it. I, therefore, let the thing rest, and did 
nothing on account of her fears." 

Are we standing here at the parting of the ways, 
as it proved, for King James and Dona Leonor ? For, 
though freedom came to them both at the end of their 
three weeks' captivity, at the humiliating price of 
20,000 morabatins, the King going to Tortosa and 
the Queen to Burbaguena, the former " burning/' as 
he was, " to draw his sword against the infidel/' had 
much to do in quelling the fierce outbursts of rebellion 
against the authority at home which might well have 
quenched the spirit of a far older man, while we hear 
henceforward little of the Queen. The shadow of 
Aurembiax, Countess of Urgel, who had captivated a 
boy's wayward fancy, had fallen darkly between him 
and Leonor. Long before the stroke fell, she must have 
guessed that the King had wearied of her, while there 
may well have been a strain of pity making minor of the 
chanso which we read of Armand Plagues offering to 
her, while as yet her fate was unsealed. For, though a 
turbulent and haughty nobility within, and a crafty 
and infidel foe at his gates, were teaching him fortitude 
and statesmanship through the seventeen years of 
turmoil that preceded their subjugation, yet James had 
still time to hear the troubadours sing, and his Queen 
must often have listened at her husband's Court to 
Guillaume Anelie, who addressed a sirvente to the 
" young King of Aragon," Peire Cardinal, who was 
:( much honoured and cherished " by him, Nat de Mons, 
who wrote him verses of good advice, telling him that 
valour is a good quality in kings, but can be counter- 
balanced by wrong-doing and injustice, while blame is 
more to be feared than death. It is probable, however, 
that the most brilliant epoch of the troubadours in 
this reign was during the rule over the Court of James I 
of his second Queen, Violante of Hungary. 


The silence of her husband's Chronicle regarding the 
divorce from his first consort has been generally held to 
be one of the proofs of its authenticity, for the royal 
author was apt at glossing over incidents which were 
calculated to present him in an unfavourable light. 
Utterly regardless as he remained to the end of his life 
of all suffering whereby he could purchase even a passing 
pleasure, he saw no obstacle to his repudiation of Leonor 
in the fact that she was the mother of the son of his boy- 
hood, for he had only been fifteen at the time of the birth 
of his heir, Alfonso. The legitimation of the offspring of 
a repudiated wife was the invariable accompaniment of 
the annulment of marriages set aside in circumstances 
such as these. 

In March, 1229, John, Cardinal Bishop of Sabina, 
entered Aragon as Papal Legate, and was met by the 
King at Lerida. His business was the matter of the 
King's divorce. In April a council was held at Tarra- 
gona, the Bishops of the province, the Archbishop of 
Toledo and his suffragans being present. The divorce 
was pronounced, on the usual pretext of consanguinity, 
and Dona Leonor was sent back to Castile, the remainder 
of the summer of that year being spent by the King in 
his preparations for departure to the Holy Land. The 
final parting between the divorced consorts took place, 
September 17, 1229, at the Monastery of Huerta, where 
it was formally agreed, in the presence of them both, 
and of a great train of Aragonese grandees, that Dona 
Leonor should be granted the town of Hariza with all 
its revenues for her life. Of infinitely more worth in 
her sight, no doubt, was the permission given to her by 
the King that her only son, now a boy of six years old, 
should not be taken from her until he attained his 
majority. Thus, the first wife of the Conqueror passes 
meekly, as many another noble and repudiated wife in 
mediaeval times in Europe, from the stage of her eight 
years' Queenship. Although her after-life is shrouded in 
uncertainty, it is generally supposed that the divorced 
Queen ended her days in that royal Convent of Las 


Huelgas of Burgos, which had been founded by her 
mother, the English Leonora, Queen of Alfonso VIII of 
Castile, of which her sister, Constanza, was first a nun, 
and afterwards Abbess, and where so many of their 
illustrious kinswomen, the Great Berengaria amongst 
them, found sepulture. 1 The son, whom she took with 
her into exile, did not survive to inherit the throne 
which had been secured to him by the same decree 
which deprived his mother of her consort's crown. His 
shadowed story belongs to the period of his father's 
second marriage, which, in its bearing on his fortunes, 
followed the invariable sinister rule of the stepmother 
in the Aragonese royal family. He married, in 1256, 
Constanza de Moncada, and died in 1260, " the victim/' 
as has well been said, " for half his life, of his step- 
mother's spite and his father's coldness." 


The power of the Keys, no less concerned, in the 
Middle Ages, with the making than with the marring 
of marriages, having annulled King James's first union, 
with Leonor of Castile, proposed to him, in February, 
1234, an alliance with Yolande (afterwards to be known 
in her adopted land as Violante), daughter of Andreas II, 
King of Hungary, by his wife, another Yolande, daugh- 
ter of Peter Courtenay, Emperor of Constantinople. The 
marriage, brought about by Pope Gregory IX, was in 
all respects a suitable one. If James was at this time 
" one of the finest and handsomest men of the day, a 
palm taller than other men, w r ell built, with a ruddy 
face, straight nose, teeth as white as pearls, and golden 
hair," his bride of twenty-one was his equal in beauty ; 

1 Leonor, formerly the illustrious Queen of Aragon, as she is styled 
in all the documents of her husband's reign after their divorce, is said by 
some authorities to have joined the Order of Premonstratensian nuns of 
Almaza, near Ariza, where she lived until her death "a great example anc" 
manifestation of sanctity." 


later events in her married life show her to have been 
no mean stateswoman ; while her influence over her 
husband persisted not always with the happiest re- 
sults for his kingdom and her stepson to the day of 
her death. The dowry of the Hungarian Princess 
was fixed at 10,000 silver marks, with her right to 
certain territories in France and Namur, in virtue of 
her descent from Louis VI of France and Baldwin VIII 
of Flanders. Escorted from Hungary by a brilliant 
retinue, and attended by Bartholomew, Bishop of 
Cincoiglesias, who had been chiefly instrumental in 
arranging the marriage, and by a certain Count Diony- 
sius, her kinsman, to whom the King afterwards gave 
lands in his kingdom and a place at his Court, the bride 
arrived at Barcelona, where her marriage with James 
was celebrated, September 8, 1236, receiving as anas 
Montpellier, Conflant, Cerdagne, Valespir, and Colibre. 

As the conquest of Majorca had loomed large in the 
closing days of his first marriage, so we find the greater 
part of his second married life taken up with his darling 
dream of the conquest of Valencia. In the forefront of 
that dream, we find Violante in her place. Two years 
after her marriage, when she had become the mother 
of her eldest daughter, a third Yolande, or Violante 
(afterwards to be the wife of Alfonso X of Castile), she 
is summoned, together with her little child, to join her 
husband at Burriana, where he is encamped, the fiery- 
tempered King having taken a solemn oath that he 
would not " go beyond Teruel and the river at Tor- 
tosa till he had taken Valencia/' Don Fernando, the 
King's great-uncle, was to accompany the Queen on 
her journey, which proved no more propitious than 
might have been anticipated, seeing that the time of 
year was January, and the roads to be traversed those 
of mediaeval Spain. :e There came great rain," writes 
James, " so great that when they had to cross the 
Ulldecona (Cenia) river only one knight could cross, 
who crossed by his horse swimming/' This fortunate 
adventurer was charged to make known the Queen's 


plight to her husband, awaiting her at Peniscola. The 
Queen and Don Fernando had, indeed, obeyed his 
summons, but now they "could not cross the river 
with the ladies, and I was to send them word wfiat to 
do." James's reply was characteristic of the impulsive 
man who had once been the daring boy. " I told the 
messenger that I myself would go there. After dinner 
I took horse ; the rain had ceased, but there was such 
a sea raised by the wind that when the waves struck 
the Castle of Peniscola on the side of the Grau of Tor- 
tosa they went over to the other side of the castle. . . . 
I left, and found that the water at Ulldecona had gone 
down, but not much. I passed without swimming, but 
the water was still high, and went up to the saddle- 

The intrepid forder of the swollen stream found reso- 
lute opposition to his plans awaiting him on the other 
side. Queen and kinsman entreated him not to forsake his 
lieges of Aragon and Catalonia for so long a time as must 
elapse before his mad design could be accomplished. 
Persuasion was in vain, however ; he would not " pass 
the Ebro till Valencia was taken," and dismissing Don 
Fernando, he bade him hold himself in readiness to 
return before the harvest ; when he came, he would 
find the table served ; " and no otherwise will I do." 
The next morning, the waters having fallen, King and 
Queen and their child crossed together ; two days later, 
the King escorted the Queen to Burriana, where he 
left her, returning to his camp at Puig, whence he 
rode a second time to Burriana, " to see the Queen 
and to comfort her, and bid her be of good heart now 
that she had come to the front." A little later, he sends 
two knights to her, " bidding her come to me, as Our 
Lord had done me that great honour of giving me the 
Castle of Almenara, where she would be better lodged 
than at Burriana." The messengers find Queen Vio- 
lante about to sit down to dinner. Like a thrifty house- 
wife, " she said she would go when she had dined " ; 
though " it was during Lent," the meal was probably 


too good to be wasted. Nor was she, possibly, disposed 
to start hungry, even in a penitential season, on her 
journey. But the knights said : " The King bids you 
come ; he has prepared dinner ; you will dine better 
and more joyfully there than you would do here/' 
' When the Queen heard that, she left her dinner. I 
waited till she came," says her husband, " and went to 
meet her to the hillside below the castle ; she and I 
entered the castle and dined with great joy." Here, 
the royal couple kept Easter of 1238 ; thence, the 
Queen was conveyed to Paterna, where she was left 
in garrison, with ten knights, of whom we may con- 
fidently assert Count Dionysius was one. As she sees 
town after town in the coveted kingdom of Valencia 
falling before, or surrendering to, the victorious arms 
of her husband, Violante is more and more heart and 
soul in and for his crowning enterprise of the taking of 
the garden-city itself. She is in the thick of his council. 
She and she only, save an interpreter, is present at the 
momentous interviews of the King with Abhulhamalec, 
the nephew and envoy of Zian, the Moorish King of 
Valencia. James " goes to her " and " tells her " 
continually all that he withholds from his army. She 
assures him that " no one had so great an interest in my 
honour and welfare as herself ; if God loved me, and 
gave me honour, she thanked Him for it, for her hopes 
were all centred in me." She " thought secrecy good 
beyond everything, till I was sure of taking the city." 
And her counsel brought him triumphantly to that 
moment of exultation in his life ; Violante was surely 
somewhere at his side when the Christian King beheld 
his standard hoisted on the towers of Valencia, and seeing 
his long dream of conquest thus fulfilled, he " dis- 
mounted, turned himself towards the east, and wept 
with his eyes, kissing the ground, for the great mercy 
that had been done to him." 

It had been fortunate for her husband's kingdom and 
for his eldest son if Violante had always used her in- 


fluence over the King to such good purpose as before 
the walls of Valencia. To her restless ambition for her 
own children, of whom she bore ten to her consort, may 
be plainly traced those successive wills in their favour, 
to the detriment of her stepson, which must eventually 
have wrought untold internecine trouble in Aragon, had 
not the death of Alfonso solved the piteous problem. 
Violante was not the woman to be content with a mere 
pleasure-house for her children, such as Villareal, which 
King James built for them, while the son of another 
woman lorded it over his father's dominions. Her 
eldest son, Pedro, must have Valencia, which she had 
helped by her counsels to win, the Balearics and Mont- 
pellier, Eoussillon, Conflant, Cerdagne, and Valespir, at 
the death of Count Nuno. A few years later, her 
maternal greed obtains from her pliant husband Cata- 
lonia for Pedro, Valencia for Don Jaime, six towns for 
Ferdinand, her third son, while her youngest son, 
Sancho, afterwards Archbishop of Toledo, was enriched 
with numerous benefices. And as though not yet feeling 
their future secure, we hear of a secret treaty at Huesca 
in 1250, between the King and certain of his grandees, 
whereby the latter pledged themselves to support and 
advance, by all means in their power, the interests of the 
Queen's sons. For her daughter, Violante, a crown had 
been secured by her betrothal, on November 26, 1246, 
to Alfonso, heir-apparent to the throne of Castile. The 
bride was then ten years old, and the marriage was not 
solemnized until January 29, 1249. Her sister, Isabella, 
became the wife, eleven years after her mother's death, 
of Philip III of France. A third, Constanza, became 
the wife of Manuel, brother of her brother-in-law, 
Alfonso of Castile, while two, Leonor and Maria, died 
unmarried ; a third, Sancha, went on a pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem, where she died, after many years' devoted 
service as a nurse in the Hospital of St. John. 

Turning aside for the moment from Violante the 
diplomate and stepmother, it is possible to reconstruct 
in much of its brilliant detail that setting of the Court 


life of her times in which she queened it over her hus- 
band's capitals of Zaragoza and Barcelona. The pomp 
and luxury of that environment had not, perhaps, 
reached the plenitude which it was to attain in later 
reigns ; but the colours were vivid enough. The Con- 
queror, master of Valencia, the Balearics, and Murcia, 
which he had successively wrested from the Moors, 
looked abroad on a vast and flourishing kingdom, know- 
ing all that he had dreamed of as a gallant boy the un- 
disputed and inalienable prize of his maturer manhood ; 
while his victories had assured to his people that leisure 
in which alone the arts and commerce can come to their 
full perfection in any nation. More especially was this 
the case with Barcelona, that " joyous and crowning 
city " of mediaeval Spain, a Tyre of the Middle Ages, 
" whose merchants were princes, whose traffickers were 
the honourable of the earth." Hither flocked Lombards, 
Florentines, Sienese, and silk merchants of Lucca, 
laden with the glittering spoils of Adriatic looms, cendal, 
samite, scarlet, gold, and purple, while mystic odours 
of the East were borne upon the air that blew across the 
orchard-gardens of the Elect City, cargoes of incense, 
cinnamon, and allspice. Nearer at hand, in ideal con- 
ditions such as no worker before or since has known, 
Moorish craftsmen, walled round by groves of orange, 
fig, and pomegranate, wove their precious stuffs for the 
clothing of Christian Infantas and Queens. Thus were 
Violante and her daughters clothed. If they grew 
weary of Italian cendal and samite, it was no far cry to 
the kingdom of Jaen, of whose myriad looms their 
Moorish slaves would be quick to sing the praises. 
From these alien tirewomen, also, the Queen and the 
noble ladies of her Court would learn how to don the 
caramiello, or mitred head-dress of the Arab woman, 
while Moorish caskets of exquisite workmanship would 
be eagerly sought after to hold their necklaces of gold 
and pearl, their earrings, rings, and pendants. To the 
skilled jewel- workers of Barcelona, however, it would 
suffice to entrust the fashioning of the belts and girdles, 


inlaid and embroidered with precious stones and pearls, 
which held together the sweeping folds of the trailing 
robes of the period. Eastern, also, it may be said in 
passing, were the gauzy veils, known as algrinales, or 
alquivales, which shared the favour of the ladies of 
Aragon as head-dresses, in conjunction with that form 
of coif called impla, from the fabric, made at Jativa, of 
which it was composed. Two pieces of impla of Jativa 
figure in a bridal trousseau of mediaeval times in Spain, 
another being impla of Jaca, and a third, impla romana. 
The magnificence of the ladies' dresses of this era may 
be gathered from the following items, extracted from the 
same document, which were presented by the bride- 
groom to his bride on the occasion of their betrothal, 
as was customary : dress lengths of green and crimson 
velvet brocade, tawny, green, grey, and black damask, 
black satin, fine scarlet Florentine cloth, cloths of 
Courtrai, Lille, and Rouen ; the lengths ranging from 
four to thirty-three yards. There are also pieces of 
linen, of silk, and cotton fabrics ; six gauze veils, while 
such items as a piece of benzoin, a sachet of Alexandrian 
powder, a horn of civet, a sachet of musk, and a casket of 
ambergris, remind us of the mediaeval passion for per- 
fumes and cosmetics. 

No less multifarious were the purchases for the royal 
wardrobe of Dona Violante and her children. Scarlet 
cloth was used both for hose and for rain-cloaks, while 
the shoes were royal indeed, made as they were now of 
silk, now of leather, richly embroidered with gold and 
gems. Peacocks 5 feathers were fashioned into fans for 
royal hands to wave languidly to and fro, while the 
jewels of both the Queen and the Infantas were of price- 
less value and beauty. 

For short journeys, or on great occasions, such as 
coronation or marriage processions, queens and great 
ladies rode on palfreys, gaily caparisoned, the colours of 
their trappings frequently harmonizing with the costumes 
of their fair riders. Longer journeys were made in the 
eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries, in litters, sedendarios, 


and basternas (the state carriage of the Merovingian 
period, only used by ladies of high rank) ; the 
mule, however, had been from time immemorial the 
favourite means of locomotion, these hardy animals 
being more suitable than horses to the mountainous 
roads of Spain. The sumpter-mule, not yet vanished from 
modern Spain, was a feature of mediaeval life, figuring 
even in religious processions, covered with scarlet saddle- 
cloths, as bearers of sacred relics when thus carried on 
the occasion of translations, etc. The sella de barda 
was the pack-saddle used for the transport of luggage, 
merchandise, of similar burdens. Sumptuary legislation 
was frequently and sharply directed against the suera, a 
kind of side-saddle, lined with cloth, embroidered with 
gold thread, the saddle-bow often painted in colours. 
At one period, it was forbidden to women to use, even 
on their wedding-day, surras of any but plain cloth, 
without any ornamentation. 

It was customary to cut the tails and manes of mules 
in sign of family mourning. 

The closing years of Violante's life were shadowed by 
the ascendancy which Teresa de Vidaura usurped over 
the heart and mind of her faithless husband. Much 
that concerns this later amour of the Conqueror's must 
be left in uncertainty. It is known that she bore two 
sons, Pedro and Jaime, to her royal lover, and that he 
bestowed upon his mistress the town and castle of 
Exerica in Valencia, with all its revenues, a very im- 
portant barony, says one of the Spanish historians. 
But the precise date of her relations with the King is 
disputed, certain authorities maintaining that the 
liaison preceded his marriage with Violante, and that 
it was resumed after the death of the Queen, others 
supposing that she actually became his wife. In either 
case, she was probably concerned with that dark 
episode in the life of King James, the tearing out of the 
tongue of the Bishop of Gerona, who had dared to re- 
prove the licentiousness of his royal master, or, as some 
assert, who had informed the Pope of the King's solemn 


promise to marry Teresa, a promise which he refused to 
fulfil. Again, it is said that the Bishop suffered his 
terrible punishment as a champion of the cause of Vio- 
lante, whom the King desired to divorce. Thanks to 
Papal intervention, however, she kept her place as Queen 
of Aragon to the close of her life. 

The circumstances of her death, which took place in 
October, 1251, were marked by much pathos. She was 
about to follow the King, who had set out for Valencia, 
when she fell ill of a slow fever. Forbidden by her 
physicians to undertake the journey, she succumbed to 
her illness at Santa Maria de las Calas. In spite of the 
brave soul in the weak body, her health had been under- 
mined by the hardships she had shared with her consort 
in the early years of their married life, and by the 
dangers and discomforts amid which she had given birth, 
in fifteen years, to her nine children, many of whom came 
into the world in the midst of camps, and within sound 
of drum and trumpet. Dona Violante was buried, at 
her own request, in the Cistercian Monastery of Vallbona, 
near the Altar of Our Lady. Her faithful knight, Count 
Dionysius, and the Countess Margaret, his wife, were 
specially commended in her will, made a few days before 
her death, to the King. Their sons, Amor and Gabriel, 
served the Royal House of Aragon as faithfully as their 
parents had served Queen Violante. Many years after, 
we find King James recording in his Chronicle the death 
of his daughter, Maria, and that " it was my wish that 
she should be buried with her mother at Vallbona, but 
the Zaragozans, in spite of the barons and knights (who 
were ready to fulfil my commands), buried her in Saint 
Saviour's, at Zaragoza. When I knew they had buried 
her, I stayed in the kingdom of Valencia," where the 
news of her death had been brought to him. From the 
MS. of Gondino* de Lobera, who was archbishop's 
chaplain in this reign, we learn that the Infanta's tomb 
was on the Gospel side of the presbytery of La Seo. The 
same authority tells us that he held a chaplaincy in 
the cathedral of the value of 500 ducats per annum 


from this Infanta. She died in Daroca, but her remains 
were brought to Zaragoza. She was a woman grown, 
and is thus depicted, with a gold crown on her head, on 
her effigy, clothed, as so many royal dead elected to be 
robed at the moment of their demise, in the religious 
habit. She was very beautiful, says the chaplain, and 
resembled her father. The Infanta's will was brought 
to James at Valencia by her executors, Don Sancho 
Martinez de Oblites, Bishop of Zaragoza, and Don 
Sancho Baldovi, and read to him. The Princess 
bequeathed 1000 marks for discharging debts and 
damages, and for distribution amongst her women 
servants and persons of her household whom she wished 
to assist. To meet this sum, however, there was nothing 
but her jewels. Whereupon the King consigned to her 
executors Daroca, Barbastro, and Roda, from the 
revenues of which they were to pay the 1000 marks, 
the King keeping the jewels. In softened mood 
for this daughter who so much resembled him was 
possibly her father's favourite child James goes to 
hear his son, Sancho, newly made Archbishop of Toledo, 
say mass in his cathedral at Christmas, " recognizing 
the claim he had on me, as his father, he having always 
been a loving and dutiful son." 

The royal sensualist, however, was soon quit of his 
softened mood of mourning for his dead Queen, to whom 
many ladies succeeded in his affections. Besides 
Teresa Gil de Vidaura, we hear of Berenguela Alfonso, 
who actually died while his companion on a journey 
into France, and " our well-beloved lady, Gruillerma de 
Cabrera," though it is a certain " Dona Sibilia de Saga " 
whom he commends to his son on his death-bed. 


The accession, boyhood, and first marriage of Don Jaime the Conqueror, 

Dona Leonor of Castile, her character, and failure to hold the King. 
Divorced, 1229. Retires to a convent. Her son Alfonso dies, 1260. 


Second marriage of the King to Dona Violante of Hungary, 1236. 
Campaign of Valencia. 

Influence of Dona Violante in her husband's disposal of his dominions. 

Her daughter, Dona Violante, betrothed to the heir of Castile, 1246, 
and married, 1249. 

Manners and customs of the reign of Dona Violante. 

Her death, 1251. Her will Her successors in the King's affections. 



ON July 28, 1260, a marriage contract was signed at 
Barcelona which was to prove one of the most note- 
worthy documents in the archives of Aragon. For the 
bridegroom was the Infante Pedro, now become, by the 
death of his luckless half-brother Alfonso (without 
issue), heir to their father's dominions, while the bride 
was Constance, daughter of Manfred, King of Sicily, and 
his Queen, Beatrice of Savoy ; and their union was the 
first cast of the shuttle whereby the fortunes of Aragon 
and Sicily were long to be inextricably interwoven. 
The projected alliance met with rooted opposition from 
Home, where Manfred was regarded as a rebel and 
usurper, and its very possibility threatened for a time to 
wreck the second matrimonial project with which King 
Jaime was concerned at the same time, namely, the 
betrothal of his daughter, the Infanta Isabella, to the 
Dauphin, afterwards Philip the Bold, of France. Un- 
deterred, however, by Papal thunders, the Sicilian and 
Aragonese monarchs went forward with their negotia- 
tions. The ambassadors of the former, Guiroldo de 
Posta, Majoro de Luenazo, and Jacobo Mostacio, were 
despatched to Barcelona, and there, as stated above, 
the marriage contract was signed. The dowry of the 
youthful Princess, who had barely attained the age 
of twelve years, was fixed at 50,000 ounces of gold, 
besides precious stones. It was a dower worthy of the 
splendid Court from which the bride was to take her 
departure two years later. Muntaner tells us that the 
lavish expenditure and princely state of that Court had 



much to do with the King of Aragon's choice of a bride 
for his heir. But the old knight does not omit to add, 
gallantly, at the same time, that the Princess was " the 
most beautiful, discreet, and honourable maiden one 
could find." Two years elapsed between her betrothal 
and the solemnization of her marriage. In June, 1262, 
the King then holding his Court at Montpellier, the bride 
of fourteen was brought to that city, escorted by her 
great-uncle, Bonafacio de Anglano, Count of Montalvan, 
and by a noble train of Neapolitan and Sicilian " gentle- 
men, knights, citizens, prelates, dames, and demoiselles/' 
Still a child herself, she brought with her also to the new 
country of her adoption the child-companions with 
whom she had been brought up, Roger de Lauria and 
Corral Llanga, and the latter 's sister. Glory and romance 
were to wait upon all three in the land whither they 
followed the fortunes of their illustrious girl-mistress ; 
for the squadrons of the great Admiral de Lauria were 
to sweep the seas between Catalonia and Sicily in the 
years to come, while Corral, skilled in all courtly arts, 
handsome in face and graceful in body, fair-spoken and 
well-informed, was to prove one of the chief ornaments 
of the Court of his adoption, to which he paid the high 
compliment of learning to speak the Catalan tongue 
more perfectly than his own. Comrades at Court, the 
two noble youths were eventually brothers-in-law, the 
sister of Corral becoming the wife of Roger de Lauria. 

The young people had a wise and watchful duenna 
in the person of Donna Bella de Lauria, the bride's 
governess, who had brought her up, and from whom 
her marriage was not to separate her, for we are told 
she lived at the Court of Aragon for the rest of her life 
at the King's expense. 

The marriage of Constanza and the Infante Pedro 
took place on June 13, 1262, in the Church of Our Lady 
of the Tables, memorable in the earliest dawning of the 
Conqueror's life. The bride's dowry consisted of the 
Countships of Roussillon and Cerdana, and Conflans, 
and Valespir, with the Countship of Besalu, and Prades, 


and the towns of Caldes and Lagostera. A month 
later, on July 4, the marriage of the bridegroom's sister, 
the Infanta Isabella, brought to a happy conclusion 
despite all threats of Papal displeasure, took place at 
Clermont in Auvergne. The Aragonese Princess lived 
to ascend the throne at her husband's side on the death 
of his father, St. Louis, but died shortly after, from the 
effects of a fall from her horse. Her sister-in-law, the 
Sicilian Princess, was reserved for the singular destiny 
of spending the latter part of her married life at a distance 
from her husband's kingdom, in the island of her birth. 
There was, however, much of domestic interest and royal 
happenings to precede that tocsin of the Sicilian Vespers 
which was to be the signal for her recall. 

She was a bride of but a few months when eye-witness 
of the dissensions which broke out immediately on the 
return of the Court from Montpellier to Barcelona 
between her husband and his brother, the Infante 
Jaime, her part, however, being merely that of a passive 
onlooker, although the towns forming her own dower 
figured hotly in the dispute. If her married life was to be 
somewhat less intimately concerned with the clash of 
arms than that of her mother-in-law, Violante, who 
bore the greater number of her large family almost 
literally in the thick of battle and the shadow of be- 
sieged cities, and cradled them in camps, a daughter-in- 
law of the Conqueror might not be altogether immune 
from contact with wars and rumours of wars. In his 
old age, Don Jaime was as much the keen soldier and the 
man of strong passions as he had ever been in his 
voluptuous, if laurel-crowned youth. The flash of his 
magic sword and the lure of his dragon-winged helmet 
still beckoned the army that adored him to fresh 
victories for the Faith and Aragon against the Moors. 
Such a commander spared none of his troops, his son 
least of all. We hear of the Infante Pedro winning 
glory in his father's service at the head of noble and 
knightly citizens, seamen, and almogarves, of Catalonia, 
Aragon, and Valencia, striking terror, with fire and sword, 


into the infidel hosts, and sending, in token of his suc- 
cesses, to his father at Barcelona, rich spoils of men and 
beasts, " a thousand head of great cattle, twenty thou- 
sand small and one thousand male and female Moorish 
slaves." The latter were distributed, we learn, amongst 
the Pope, his Cardinals, the Emperor Frederic, the 
King of France, the counts and barons of Aragon and 
Catalonia, and the King's personal friends. The women 
captives were divided in like manner amongst the 
young Dauphiness of France, the countesses and other 
distinguished ladies of the kingdom, including, doubt- 
less, the Infanta Constanza, domiciled, it would appear, 
throughout the prolonged campaign which her husband 
organized against the Moors, at Valencia. Here, it is 
probable, the greater number of her children were born, 
the four Infantes, Alfonso, Jaime, Fadrique, and Pedro, 
and the two Infantas, Yolande, who became the wife of 
Robert, Duke of Calabria, and Isabel, afterwards Queen 
of Dionysius, King of Portugal, and a Saint of the 
Roman calendar. Her position as wife of the heir- 
apparent, her father-in-law being a widower, gave 
Constanza a prominent place at the numerous and bril- 
liant festivities which characterized this reign. Thus, 
she would certainly have acted as hostess in 1263, on 
the occasion of the visit of the King and Queen of 
Castile, the latter being Violante, eldest daughter of the 
King of Aragon, when the hospitality offered to the royal 
guests was on a truly princely scale, the King of Aragon 
giving orders that everything in the way of provisions 
was to be provided free of cost for them and their 
suite. Couriers who preceded them received from 
the townspeople whole sheep, kids, beef, bread, wine, 
capons, rabbits, partridges, and every other kind of 
provisions, which were purchased at such high prices 
on behalf of the King that for the whole time of the 
visit, which extended over two months, the country- 
folk lived almost for nothing. Neither the King of 
Castile nor a single member of his numerous retinue 
allowed to spend a denier of his own, luxuries and 


entertainments, as well as necessaries, being included 
in the lavish expenditure. The entertainments especi- 
ally were on the usual profuse and ingenious scale, 
comprising dancing, tourneys, and performances by 
mimes, mummers, marionettes, and acrobats. Dona 
Constanza was amongst the royal witnesses of the 
marriage, in 1269, at Burgos, of the Infante Ferdinand, 
grandson of the Conqueror, and Blanche, daughter of 
St. Louis of France, the other princely guests including, 
beside the immediate relatives of the bride and bride- 
groom, a Moorish King and a Greek Empress. Two 
years later, Dona Constanza gave birth, at Zaragoza 
(though Barcelona disputes the honour with the capital 
of Aragon), to a daughter, afterwards to be known as 
St. Isabel of Portugal. The year 1275 witnessed the 
betrothal, at Perpignan, of Dona Constanza's second 
son, Don Jaime, to Esclarmonde, sister of Count Roger- 
Bernard II of Foix, and the following year saw his 
mother and her husband called to the throne of Aragon 
by the death of the Conqueror. Dona Constanza was 
the first Queen of Aragon whose coronation is recorded 
by Blancas, the ceremony taking place in Zaragoza on 
November 17, 1276. 

The birth of her four sons and two daughters excepted 
all of whom first saw the light on Aragonese or Catalonian 
soil the life of this Queen belongs almost entirely to 
Sicilian history. It was to be her extraordinary destiny, 
at a period when royal brides seldom or never revisited 
the land of their birth after their marriage, to return, as 
the representative of the country of her adoption, to 
that of her childhood's home, only quitting it for the 
second time to pass a few brief years, at the close of her 
life, in retirement at Barcelona. ' The troubles and 
glories of the life of Peter III," as Mr. Burke has well 
said in his History of Spain, " came alike from across 
the sea " ; and in both troubles and glories his Queen 
bore her full share. The period of Aragon's history 
was that in which, her protracted struggle with the 
infidel for ever ended, the hardy and restless spirit of 


her Catalan soldiery burned for new fields of conquest. 
The Sicilian ancestry of their Queen was to prove their 
opportunity. To Aragon, Dona Constanza was the 
heroine of " one of the most complicated and romantic 
chapters in the history of mediaeval Italy when 
popes strove with emperors, and Frenchmen with 
Italians, and Guelphs with Ghibellines ; when crowns 
were flung about like tennis balls, and excommunica- 
tions flew as thick as javelins the great struggle of the 
thirteenth century for the possession of the ancient and 
famous island of Sicily/' 

Not once, but many times, in history, a glove has 
played a romantic or a tragic part. No glove in history 
is steeped with deeper pathos or darker tragedy than 
that which was carried from the foot of the scaffold 
where it had been flung by Conradin of Suabia, murdered 
by Charles of Anjou, the usurper of Sicily, in 1268, and 
borne across the sea to the dead boy's aunt, Dona 
Constanza of Aragon. " Fourteen long and dreadful 
years " were to pass, however, before the challenge was 
to be taken up, years in which the Sicilians, held in 
bitter bondage by their French tyrants, must often have 
turned, with hopeless and despairing gaze, to where the 
silence of their rightful Lady and her Lord of Aragon 
seemed to mock their agony. The story of the Sicilian 
Vespers, that terrific outburst of popular fury which 
drove the French from Sicily in 1282, has been told 
many a time in song and story ; it was the tocsin call 
which pierced to the heart of the daughter of Manfred. 
Sicily summoned her to give it lasting peace. Moved by 
her entreaties, Don Pedro could no longer afford to 
stand aloof from those who had indeed been his subjects, 
in right of his wife, from the fall of Manfred in battle in 
1266. In the autumn of 1282, the fleet and army of 
Aragon set sail to relieve Messina, hotly invested by 
Charles of Anjou. 

From its ill-starred beginnings to its scarcely less 
disastrous close, the enmity between the Houses of 
Aragon and Anjou, born of their struggle for the 


sovereignty of Sicily, was indeed a man's quarrel, but at 
the same time the woman's influence, whether open or 
veiled, was never far to seek. More than one historian of 
repute assigns the origin of the French domination in 
the island to the following episode. The saintly Louis IX 
of France and his brother, Charles, Comte d' Anjou, had 
married sisters, daughters of the Comte de Provence, a 
near kinsman of Pedro of Aragon. Shortly after St. 
Louis's marriage, his Queen, Marguerite, extended a 
cordial invitation to her sister and brother-in-law to 
visit her in Paris. A brilliant Court was assembled to 
do them honour, but the Countess of Anjou, deeply 
offended by the fact that a chair of state had not been 
placed for her beside and on an equal level with the 
Queen's, haughtily withdrew from the august assembly, 
and retired to her apartment. There, her husband, who 
was tenderly attached to her, followed, to find her 
" weeping bitterly." Her trouble was soon told. That 
she, the sister-in-law of the King of France, and sister 
of his Queen their two other sisters being also Queens, 
the one of England, and the other of the Romans 
should have received so cruel an affront as had been 
put upon her ! That, instead of being seated beside 
her sister, she should have been assigned the cushion of 
a Countess at that sister's feet ! 

Let them instantly return to their own lordships, for 
she refused to remain another day at Court. The Count 
entreated his wife, as she wept in his arms, to dismiss 
all question of affront from her mind. It was the French 
custom that no lady, save another Queen, might sit at 
the Queen's side. Therefore, it was a crown she was 
asking of him, and that crown, he swore, before Holy 
Church, and by the love he bore her, should be hers. 
With his lips on hers he took this oath, whereby " the 
Countess was in part consoled." The next day, they 
announced their imminent departure from Paris, and 
four days later, they started for Anjou, much to the 
regret of the King and Queen. From Provence, the 
Count set speedy sail for Italy, escorted by five galleys, 


in quest of the crown he had so lightly promised to his 
vain and ambitious wife. But the days were those when 
crowns galore were in the gift of the Papacy, and the 
moment of his coming was opportune. Manfred, son of 
the Emperor Frederic II, had inherited the Papal 
censure which had rested so heavily on his father. In 
the light of his disfavour at the Court of Clement V, the 
crown of Sicily was no longer his. The arrival at that 
Court of Charles of Anjou was that of a successor to 
Manfred's forfeited throne. The Count of Provence 
and Anjou left the consistory, says Muntaner, with one 
crown on his head, and another in his hand it was 
that which he had promised, with a kiss, to his Countess. 
A Cardinal, specially delegated by the Pope to place 
that coveted circlet on her head, accompanied the new 
King on his return to France. Once more, the now 
royal couple were the guests of the King and Queen of 
France in Paris ; on this occasion the two Queens sat 
side by side. Charles of Anjou had kept his promise. 
His wife's ambition gratified, the King of Sicily and 
Naples, as he was now styled, proceeded to take posses- 
sion of his new kingdom. King Manfred fell, fighting 
valiantly in a lost cause ; his nephew, Conradin, who 
had hastened to his help, was beheaded at Naples, his 
death transmitting to Constanza, Queen of Aragon, the 
rights of inheritance of the island kingdom which had 
been her dowry. Although the tragic succession of 
events plunged the Court of Aragon into mourning, 
and the heart of the Queen into deepest grief, it would 
seem that Pedro III was not at once disposed to enter 
on the task, of which he must fully have foreseen the 
difficulties, of taking possession, in his wife's name, of 
her undoubtedly lawful inheritance. It was necessary, 
first of all, to be assured of the friendship of the King of 
France, who was the brother of the usurping King of 
Sicily. With this end in view, he set out for the French 
Court, where he was received with every mark of 
honour and with splendid festivities, St. Louis, 
ever on the side of peace, making every effort, though 


in vain, to effect a reconciliation between Aragon and 

The 30th of March, 1282, a date marked in history by 
the tragic episode of the Sicilian Vespers, marks also 
the entry of Aragon upon the costly enterprise of her 
Sicilian policy. The island kingdom, having thrown off 
the hated yoke of Charles of Anjou, summoned, with one 
voice, the husband of Manfred's daughter to be their 
King and saviour. The election of Pedro devoid of all 
sacerdotal semblance of a coronation, for the Arch- 
bishop of Palermo and the Archbishop of Monreal, who 
should have performed the ceremony, were both French, 
and were absent at Rome took place at Palermo, 
September 2, 1282. For three years, he ruled a dis- 
tracted kingdom, harassed by the dispossessed Charles 
of Anjou, who, secure in the friendship of the French 
Pope, Martin IV, was not to be lightly evicted from his 
throne. Aragon and its King were laid under an inter- 
dict, and a crusade preached against the latter. Those 
who joined it, taking a stone in their hand, dashed it on 
the ground, exclaiming : " I cast this stone against 
Peter of Aragon, that I may thereby gain the indul- 
gence " (promised to all who took arms against the 
excommunicated King). But thanks to the valour of 
his Admiral, Roger de Lauria, Pedro could afford to 
snap his fingers at the Papacy, at the House of Anjou, 
as well as at the fanatic seekers after plenary indul- 

At the end of three years, he left behind him a safe 
and sure inheritance when, to the great joy of his people, 
he returned to Aragon. In Zaragoza, he was joyfully 
received, as he had been anxiously awaited, by his 
Queen and their children. But reunion was to prove, 
for the former at least, merely the brief prelude to a 
still longer separation. Following on the popular 
rejoicings at his return, came the graver business of the 
Cortes, which were immediately convoked at Zaragoza. 
Therein, the King made public his intention to send the 
Queen, with two of her sons, to represent him in Sicily ; 


and this for two reasons : first, because he was well 
assured that the people of the island would gladly 
receive a daughter of King Manfred in their midst, and 
that thus the ties between Aragon and Sicily would be 
drawn more closely ; and secondly, because he thought 
that this decision would give the Queen pleasure. The 
Cortes heartily concurring, preparations were at once 
begun for the journey, of which Muntaner in his Chronicle 
has left us a vivid and intimate picture. 

The Queen and her children having returned to Barce- 
lona, the city was en fete for a week, during which nothing 
was thought of but dancing and amusements of all kinds. 
The King then charged Don Ramon Marquet and Don 
Berenger Mallol to prepare the good ship La Bonne 
Aventure, four galleys, two vessels, and two barques, to 
form a flotilla of escort for the illustrious travellers. In 
addition to the hundred picked men who were to man 
the Bonne Aventure, there were to be five hundred 
archers, five hundred sergeants, and one hundred 
knights over and above the ordinary members of the 
household of the Queen and the Infantes. Men and 
provisions being aboard, word was sent to the King and 
Queen in the Palace that all was ready for sailing. The 
parting between the royal couple took place in the privacy 
of their apartments, Constanza only consoled by the 
hope which was destined to remain unrealized of a 
speedy reunion with her husband. The young Infantes, 
Don Jaime and Don Fadrique, took leave of their father 
kneeling, while the King tenderly embraced and blessed 
them. Four hours passed before the Queen emerged 
from the Palace, hours which were spent by husband 
and wife alone with their children. From the Palace, the 
Queen passed, escorted by the King of Majorca, and a 
number of knights, prelates, and townspeople, to the 
Cathedral, where prayers were offered by the Arch- 
bishop of Tarragona for her safe voyage, and the pro- 
tection of St. Eulalie and St. Leger invoked. 

The Queen, attended by the King of Majorca, then 
mounted her horse, and rode, followed by more than 


fifty gentlemen of Aragon and Catalonia, together with 
the Consuls of Barcelona and several of the chief citizens, 
to the water's edge. A weeping crowd of men, women, 
and children testified to the love which Constanza had 
won from her husband's people during her twenty years' 
sojourn amongst them. She and her children were 
conveyed in a coracle to the waiting ship, and all the 
suite having been duly embarked, the signal for depar- 
ture was given, amid the farewell greetings of the 
people assembled on the quay and along the shore. 

Muntaner next transports us to Palermo, where the 
Queen and her children, their voyage safely accom- 
plished, as if, like the Three Wise Men, to whom he 
compares the illustrious travellers, they had been guided 
by a star, were received with every outward expression 
of delirious joy by the inhabitants. To Constanza, the 
moment was one of intense emotion. Confronted as 
she was by the acclaiming welcome of a populace who 
regarded her as a guardian angel, the harbinger of a new 
era of hope and peace for their distracted island, she 
could not but remember that, home-coming as this 
hour was, it was empty of the presence and embraces of 
all from whom she had parted twenty years before. 
Kindly faces pressed upon her, but they were the faces 
of strangers. The veil of death or of captivity had 
fallen over those other faces father, mother, uncle, 
nephew, sister for which she looked in vain among 
the surging crowds that hurried to the quayside to bid 
her welcome. Touched as she must have been by the 
popular demonstrations of affection which greeted 
Manfred's daughter, her first action, at the moment 
when her feet trod the soil of Sicily once more, was that 
of a woman saddened by the thought of all that twenty 
years had taken from her, rather than that of a proud 
and triumphant Regent. " The Queen, on landing," 
says Muntaner, " made the sign of the Cross, raised her 
eyes to Heaven, kissed the ground, weeping, and entered 
the Church of St. George, where she prayed, together 
with the Infantes." On emerging into the crowded 


streets, more than five hundred mounts awaited her 
and her retinue. A handsome white palfrey, on which 
were placed her own trappings, emblazoned with the 
arms of Aragon and Sicily, was the gift of Palermo to 
the Queen ; two other palfreys, also richly caparisoned, 
had been brought from Barcelona for the use of the two 
young Princes, who rode one on either side of the Queen 
in the procession to the palace. Following these, came 
the ladies in attendance on the Queen, mounted on 
twenty-six mules and palfreys, gaily caparisoned, and 
fifty gentlemen on fine Spanish horses. Trumpets, 
cymbals, and horns mingled their music with the cries 
of joy and welcome which resounded on all sides, all 
the chivalry, the youth, and beauty of Palermo pressing 
round the Queen to kiss her hands and feet. A d&tour 
was made for a halt at the Cathedral, where the Queen, 
dismounting, accompanied only by her children and 
two of her ladies, offered a brief thanksgiving before the 
altar of the Virgin, a pious act which was repeated a few 
minutes later, in the private chapel of the Palace, on the 
arrival of the cavalcade. The weary travellers then 
sought a brief repose in their apartments, whence they 
descended, gorgeously attired, at the sound of the 
trumpets which announced that dinner was served. 
From the royal table food was sent to the ships and 
galleys in such abundance that the supply lasted for a 
week. During the whole seven days, not only Palermo, 
but the whole of Sicily, gave itself up to rejoicing. At 
the end of this time, the commanders of the Catalonian 
ships which had brought the Queen to Palermo, took 
leave of their royal mistress, and returned to Barcelona. 
The last link with Aragon seemed broken. It was now 
time for Constanza, recovered from the fatigues of her 
voyage, to address herself to the serious business which 
had brought her to Sicily. Taking counsel with Jean 
de Procida, whose powerful support of the House of 
Aragon against that of Anjou had been rewarded by 
Don Pedro with the high office of Chancellor of the 
Kingdom of Sicily, the Queen summoned the grandees, 


syndics, and other notables of Sicily to meet her in 
Cortes at Palermo. A chair of state having been placed 
in the great hall of the Palace for the Regent and the 
Infantes, all other persons, with the exception of grandees 
and knights, seated themselves on carpets spread on the 
floor. When all were assembled, the Queen, rising, 
deputed Jean de Procida to announce to all present, as 
her proxy, the will of the King of Aragon concerning 
his faithful subjects in Sicily, and to read to them the 
letter in which he set forth that will. 

This the Chancellor did in " a very fine speech," 
Muntaner tells us. The Parliament, having heard him 
to the end, kissed the Queen's hand, and swore allegiance 
to her and her children, in the King's place. And so, 
" every man returned, well pleased, to his home." The 
Queen and the Infantes then proceeded by easy stages 
to Messina, their journey being attended by universal 
popular demonstrations of rejoicing. Their escort 
consisted of five hundred crossbowmen, the same 
number of friendly almogarves, and all the knights of 
their household. Messina surpassed Palermo, we are 
told, in the splendour and duration of the fetes which 
signalized the royal visit. For a fortnight, " no work 
was done," save that Parliament was summoned to 
meet the Queen and her children, Jean de Procida 
again acting as the Regent's spokesman. Within the 
island kingdom all was well indeed, but the fleet of 
Charles of Anjou continued to threaten the coasts, 
while the unbending attitude of the Pope towards the 
King of Aragon darkened the outlook for the future for 
one who was so devoted a daughter of the Church as 
Constanza. Suddenly, however, the aspect brightened, 
thanks to the valour of that great seaman, Roger de 
Lauria, who gained a notable victory over the galleys 
of the enemy, which had rashly ventured out of the port 
of Naples, destroying or capturing thirty-seven sail. 
A frantic welcome awaited the victorious Admiral at 
Messina, where his mother, Madame Bella, in attendance 
on the Queen, in a delirium of joy, embraced her heroic 


son, Muntaner tells us, " more than ten times," " holding 
him so closely that it was impossible to separate them/' 
until the Queen " rose and did so/' The gallant Admiral 
had the happiness, a few months later, of restoring to 
his royal mistress her sister, daughter of the dead 
Manfred, who had been kept a close prisoner, since her 
father's death, in the Castle of dell Uovo, together with 
her household of two widow ladies and four demoiselles. 
The release of the Princess was the price exacted by the 
triumphant de Lauria from the eldest son of Charles 
d'Anjou, himself a prisoner in the hands of the Aragonese 
commander. At Messina, she was happily reunited to her 
sister, who, in her joy, saved the life of the Prince of 
Anjou from the Sicilians, who were clamouring for his 

Before taking her final leave of the island to which 
she had been bound by so many ties of kinship and 
sovereignty, Constanza witnessed in Sicily the coronation 
at Palermo of her son, Fadrique, as third king of that 
name. The young Prince, who had accompanied his 
mother and elder brothers to Sicily on her assumption 
of its Regency, had grown to manhood amongst the 
people by whom he had been unanimously summoned, 
on their abandonment by Jaime II, to reign over them. 
On March 25, 1296, he received crown, orb, and sceptre in 
the Cathedral of Palermo, afterwards riding, in royal 
robes, amid the acclamations of his subjects, to the 
Palace, where he kept open house, after the custom of 
the Kings of Aragon, for a fortnight, the city, meanwhile, 
giving itself up to dancing, feasting, and other amuse- 
ments. The occasion was one of peculiar significance 
for the mother of the new King. Over it, she could 
rejoice not only as the mother of a King, but as a devout 
daughter of the Church, since, thanks to the long- 
delayed reconciliation between the Pope and the King 
of Aragon, the Queen Dowager and her household had 
received the Papal absolution. We hear little of Con- 
stanza taking part in the Coronation festivities at 
Palermo ; it is before the altar, daily, that we find her 


kneeling, hearing mass. Her work in and for Sicily 
was over. There remained for her but to take leave of 
her son, giving him her parting benediction, "as a 
good mother should," and then to set out attended by 
Jean de Procida, who, faithful alike in peace and storm, 
" never left her side " on a pilgrimage to Rome. 
There, she was received with royal honours by the 
Pope, who granted her abundantly, we are told, from 
his treasury of indulgences. She remained long enough 
in Rome to contribute to and ratify by her presence the 
final conclusion of peace between Naples and Sicily. It 
was not until 1302, however, that that peace was finally 
assured by the marriage of King Fadrique to Leonor, 
third daughter of Charles III of Naples, a Princess who 
merits, no less than her sister, Queen Blanche of Aragon, 
the title of Lady of Holy Peace. She was married at 
Messina, in the Church of Santa Maria la Novella, her 
wedding-day being also that of the removal of the 
interdict from Sicily, and of the Papal remission of all 
sins committed by the Sicilians during the wars. From 
Rome, Queen Constanza returned, after an absence of 
many years, to Catalonia, where she took up her residence 
at Barcelona, passing the remainder of her life in prayer 
and charity. She died, clothed in the habit of a sister 
of the Order of the Friars Minor, and was buried in their 
Church. By her will, she left to her son, Fadrique, 
whom she styles Infante, her two small estates in Sicily, 
on condition of his making his full peace with Holy 
Church. Her son, Don Jaime, she appointed universal 
legatee of all her other property. She was followed to 
the grave within a few months by her daughter, Violante, 
Duchess of Calabria, the Peacemaker, who died at 
Taormina, to the great grief of her husband and the 
people of Sicily, to whom, like her brother, Fadrique, 
she had greatly endeared herself. Beautiful in person, 
and noble in character, she was one of the most illus- 
trious daughters of the House of Aragon. Seven years 
after her death, her husband married the Infanta Dona 
Sancha, daughter of King Jaime of Majorca. 



' Whereas, as it is written in Holy Scripture, the 
Lord God ordained and deputed Eve to be the com- 
panion of Adam, so are the Queens of Aragon com- 
panions of the Kings ; and so shall they rejoice in 
whatsoever spiritual graces, honours and prerogatives 
Holy Mother Church shall bestow upon the said Kings." 

Thus quaintly old Blancas, the chronicler of the 
coronations of the Kings and Queens of Aragon, intro- 
duces us to that page of ceremonial history which is 
amongst the most brilliant of any epoch. 

Therefore, proceeds the narrator, as, among the other 
spiritual graces with which Holy Mother Church hath 
ennobled and exalted the Kings of Aragon is the Holy 
Sacrament of Unction, in that also she desires that 
the Queens of Aragon shall be partakers. Therefore it 
is ordained, that the Queens of Aragon shall be conse- 
crated by the Archbishop of Zaragoza and crowned by 
the Kings of Aragon, even as of old King Ahasuerus 
crowned Queen Esther. 

The Apostolic Bull which conferred upon the con- 
sorts of the Kings of Aragon the right to be crowned 
in all respects with ceremonial as solemn and as stately 
as their lords' save only that they received their crown 
not from the hands of the Archbishop, but from those of 
the King was granted by Pope Innocent III, that 
haughty and notable prelate who had much to say in 
his time in the matrimonial affairs of the crowned heads 
of Europe. It was not until the reign of Pedro IV, 
justly known as the Ceremonious, that the form of 
their consecration, " which is entitled ordination," was 
definitely drawn up. 

The Coronation ceremonies of the four Queens of 
Aragon, of whom it is expressly stated that this honour 
was conferred upon them, will be related in due course 


in their proper place in the history of each. Here, it 
will be sufficient to describe the Order of the Ceremonial 
as it was scrupulously carried out in the case of every 

During the week before the Sunday fixed, as that 
day always was, for the ceremony, the Queen took up 
her residence in the Palace of the Aljaferia, without the 
gates of Zaragoza. A fast of three days Thursday, 
Friday, and Saturday was imposed upon her, although 
if, for any cause, it could not be strictly kept, she was 
granted ' a dispensation for two days. On Saturday 
evening, the Queen took a bath. (In the case of the 
King, the royal ablutions on the eve of his Coronation 
were to be made " privately " ; a proviso which in the 
Queen's case is taken for granted.) Rising early on the 
following morning she was to make her confession, and 
then to receive, " with the utmost humility and devo- 
tion," the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ. On emerging 
from the Holy Place, she was to change all her clothes 
for new ones. Not until the hour of Compline was she 
to set forth from the Palace for La Seo, the Cathedral 
Church of Zaragoza, where the Kings and Queens of 
Aragon were crowned from 1119, the year of the re- 
covery of their capital from the Moors. The robes in 
which she was to make her solemn entry into the city 
were to be white ; she was to wear her usual head- 
covering, save that she was to have neither crown nor 
garland on her head. She was to ride a white horse, 
not led. And thus, preceded by torches and other 
lights, and with every sign of joy and gladness, she was 
to go on her way to San Salvador, and entering the 
church, she was to kneel in prayer before the altar, 
and, her devotions ended, she was to retire to rest, 
" in some appointed place, near to and convenient for the 
church." (The Kings of Aragon passed the night before 
their Coronation in the sacristy of La Seo.) The next 
morning, the Queen was to rise very early, and wearing 
the same garments as the previous evening, she was 
to enter San Salvador, At the chief door of the church, 


she was to be met by the Archbishop, the Bishops, and 
the other prelates, vested in full pontificals. And all 
the other clergy in the procession, fully vested also, 
were to bear before her the Holy Gospel, with two 
crosses and with lights and incense. And at the said 
door of the Cathedral, the Bishop of highest rank was 
to offer the following prayer : 

" Almighty and Eternal God, Fountain and Origin 
of all goodness, Who didst by no means turn away in 
reprobation from the fragile estate of woman, but 
rather, by choosing it didst show Thy approbation 
thereof, Who didst determine by choosing the weak 
things of the world to confound the strong, that are 
mighty, Who also didst will to grant the triumph of 
Thy glory and virtue over a most hostile and hateful 
people by the hand of Judith, a woman of ancient 
Israel, regard, we beseech Thee, our humble petitions, 
and upon this Thy servant, our Queen, who by devout 
supplication has been } called to be Queen, graciously 
multiply the gifts of which Thou hast spoken, and always 
and everywhere surround her with the power of Thy 
Right Hand, that being stedfastly aided in all places 
by Thy Divine Gift, she may have strength to subdue 
triumphantly the visible and invisible hosts of evil, and 
together with Sarah and Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, 
those blessed and revered women, may be worthy to be 
fruitful and to rejoice in the fruit of her womb to the 
glory of the whole kingdom, and to the government and 
protection of the state of God's Holy Church. Through 
Christ Our Lord, Who didst deign to be born of the 
undented womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and thus 
to visit and renew the world, who with Thee liveth and 
is glorified, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world with- 
out end." 

Then the Queen, walking between two Bishops, was 
to proceed to the High Altar, and there take her seat 
on a royal throne, covered with cloth of gold, placed 

[Hausir y Menet, Madrid 



near the altar, on the Gospel side, And the Archbishop 
was to offer the following prayer : 

" God, Who alone hast immortality, Who dwellest 
in inaccessible light, Whose never-failing Providence 
ordereth all things, Who didst make those things which 
are yet to be, and dost call things which are not as 
though they were, Who by Thy just governance dost 
cast down the proud from their height, and graciously 
exalt the humble on high, we humbly beseech Thine 
ineffable mercy that as Thou didst cause Queen Esther, 
for the sake of the preservation of Israel, to be loosed 
from the chain of her captivity, and to pass to the bridal 
chamber of King Ahasuerus, and to become the consort 
of his kingdom, so Thou wouldest mercifully grant that 
our Queen, for the sake of the preservation of a Christian 
people, may pass by the blessing of Thy condescension 
to this honourable and exalted union with our King, 
and become partaker of his kingdom ; and that always 
remaining true to the marriage bond of her Royal 
Spouse, she may be able to hold fast that palm which is 
second only to the palm of Virginity ; and may seek 
perpetually to please Thee, the Living and True God, 
in all things and above all things, and by Thy inspira- 
tion may perform with all her heart those things which 
are well pleasing to Thee. Through Jesus Christ Our 

At the conclusion of this prayer, the Queen was to 
retire to the sacristy, where she was to lay aside the 
robes in which she had made her entrance into the 
Cathedral, and assume those sacerdotal vestments in 
which both she and the King were to receive the Sacra- 
ment of Unction and their crowns. 

These vestments were three in number, that known 
as the camisa romana, or rochet, made of linen, with 
the opening buttoned at the top behind, a chemise of 
white silk being worn over it ; the maniple, worn on the 
left arm ; and over all, the dalmatic, peculiar for many 


centuries to deacons, and typical, according to Duran- 
dus, " because of its large and broad sleeves/' of "an 
immaculate life, or of bountifulness towards the poor." 
The Coronation vestments of the Kings of Aragon in- 
cluded, in addition to the rochet, maniple, and dalmatic, 
the stole, the latter, however, having been apparently 
adopted at a later date by their consorts also. The 
material of the dalmatic was to be white velvet, frisado, 
embroidered with pearls and precious stones. Having 
assumed her robes, her hair was to be unbound by the 
lady of highest rank amongst those in attendance upon 
the Queen. 

When Katherine of Aragon was crowned, she wore 
her hair hanging down her back, " of a very great length, 
beautiful and goodly to behold, and on her head a 
coronal set with very rich Orient stones." 

At this point, the royal insignia were to be delivered 
to the ladies appointed to bear them before the Queen, 
the first to issue from the sacristy being those who 
carried the Sceptre, walking on the right of the Queen, 
and the Orb, walking on the left. Next came another 
lady, carrying on a silver dish the Crown with which 
the Queen was shortly to be crowned. This lady was 
to be more honourable than any of the rest. And after 
these came the Queen, with her hair unbound, wearing 
neither veil nor chaplet on her head, and she was 'to walk 
alone. Proceeding with her attendant ladies to the High 
Altar, the royal insignia were to be solemnly received 
and placed thereon by the several Bishops thereto ap- 
pointed. The Queen meanwhile, attended by two of her 
ladies of the highest rank, was to kneel on a cushion 
before the altar while the following Litany was said : 

" That Thou wouldest vouchsafe to bless and sanctify 
Thy present servant N. 

That Thou wouldest vouchsafe to bless and to crown 
Thy servant N. our Queen. We beseech Thee to 
hear us. 

The Lord's Prayer. 


Save Thy handmaid, 

Who putteth her trust in Thee, my God. 

Be to her a tower of strength, 

From the face of the enemy. 

Let the enemy have no advantage of her, 

Nor the son of wickedness approach to hurt her." 

And next, in a low voice, the following Preface : 

" For ever and ever, Amen. The Lord be with you. 
And with thy spirit, Amen. Holy Lord, Almighty 
Father, Eternal God, the author and distributor of all 
good things, bountiful bestower of all blessings, bestow 
upon Thy servant our Queen the abundance of Thy 
blessing, and may the bestowal of Thy heavenly election 
and blessing accumulate upon her whom our human 
choice rejoices to set over us. Grant to her, Lord, 
with the authority of her rule an abundance of counsel, 
wisdom and prudence, and with the abundance of 
knowledge, grant her the guardianship of religion and 
piety, that she may deserve to be blessed, and to be 
increased in fame, even as Sarah was ; to be visited and 
to be fruitful as Rebecca was ; to be opposed to all 
ugly vices (lit. the monsters of all vices, especially sins 
against chastity), as Judith was ; to be chosen to share 
the government of the kingdom, as Esther was. And 
fill her whom we in our human weakness beseech 
Thee to bless, with the heavenly inpouring of the inmost 
dew of Thy blessing, and may she whom we bless as 
our Queen deserve to obtain from Thee an eternal 
reward. And as by men she is exalted to bear a great 
name, so may she be exalted by Thee in faith out of 
works. Pour also upon her the dew of Thy wisdom 
which blessed David in promise and Solomon his son 
in rich abundance received. Be to her, Lord, a 
breastplate against the blows of all her enemies, a hel- 
met in adversities, wisdom in prosperity, and an eternal 
shield for her protection. May she follow peace, may 
she love charity, may she keep herself from all impiety ; 


may she speak justly ; may she guard the truth ; may 
she cultivate justice and piety, may she love religion, 
and flourish through Thy present blessing for many 
years in this life and in the life to come for eternity 
without end. Through all ages 

Lord, hear my prayer. 

And let my cry come unto Thee. 

The Lord be with you. 

And with thy spirit." 

At the conclusion of the Litany, the following prayers 
were recited : 

" Stretch forth, we beseech Thee, Lord, the Bight 
Hand of Thy Heavenly Aid, over Thy servant, N. our 
Queen, that she may be worthy to obtain such things 
as she seeks with her whole heart, and may rightly 
require. Prevent us, Lord, we beseech Thee, in all 
our actions with Thy most gracious favour, and further 
us with Thy continual help, that all our prayers and 
works may be begun, continued, and ended in Thee, 
Through Jesus Christ our Lord." 

" Almighty and Eternal God, sanctify this Thy 
servant N. whom Thou hast chosen to be the helpmate 
of the King, with Thy heavenly blessing ; may Thy 
wisdom always teach and strengthen her, and may Thy 
Church always acknowledge her as a faithful servant, 
Through Jesus Christ our Lord." 

The Archbishop should then proceed to administer the 
Sacrament of Holy Unction, applying the Holy Oil to 
the head, the breast, and the shoulders of the Queen. 
And afterwards, he was to wipe off the oil with a piece 
of fine linen. During the Unction, the following prayers 
were to be recited : 

" May God, Father of Eternal glory, be thy Helper 
and Protector, and may the Omnipotent bless thee ! 


May He hear thy prayers ! May He fill thy life full with 
length of days ! May He continually confirm thy 
blessing, and preserve thee with all thy people to 
eternity ! May He clothe thine enemies with confusion ! 
May the sanctification of Christ be upon thee, and may 
the outpouring of this oil make thee flourish, that He 
Who gives thee His blessing on earth, may Himself 
confer on thee the reward of the angels in Heaven. 
May He bless thee and keep thee to life eternal ! Amen." 

" May the grace of the Holy Spirit through our 
humble office copiously descend on thee, that as by our 
hands, though unworthy, thou art anointed outwardly 
with visible oil, so thou mayest be worthy to be anointed 
inwardly with His invisible unguents, and having been 
imbued always most perfectly with His spiritual 
unction, mayest learn with all thy heart and be able 
to turn away from and despise unlawful things ; and 
mayest be able to meditate on things profitable to thy 
soul, perfectly to choose and to perform such things, 
by the help of Our Lord Jesus Christ." 

At this point in the ceremony, the King appears to 
have made his entrance, wearing his royal robes and 
bearing all his royal insignia. Having been conducted 
to the throne prepared for him on the other side of the 
altar, he proceeds to crown the Queen with the Crown 
which had reposed till then upon the altar, the Arch- 
bishop meanwhile saying the following Prayer of the 
Crown : 

" Keceive the Crown of the Glory of the Kingdom, 
that thou mayest know how to be the consort of the 
kingdom ; mayest thou always counsel prosperously the 
people of God ; and the more thou art exalted, so much 
the more mayest thou love and keep humility in Christ 
Jesus our Lord. Since thou hast been solemnly blessed 
as Queen by our dignified office, receive the Crown of 
royal excellence, which by royal hands is placed upon 


thy head, that as thou dost shine resplendent with 
gold and enriched with gems, so mayest thou strive to 
be adorned inwardly with the gold of wisdom and the 
gems of virtues. So that after the end of this age, 
together with the prudent virgins, thou mayest honour- 
ably and worthily meet the Eternal Spouse, Our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and mayest be worthy to enter the Royal 
Gate of the Heavenly Palace by the aid of Our Lord 
Jesus Christ/' 

While the Archbishop recited the following Prayer of 
the Sceptre, the King placed the Sceptre in the right 
hand of the Queen : 

" Receive the Rod of virtue and equity, and be 
merciful and kind to the poor : show the most assiduous 
care towards widows and orphans, that Almighty God 
may increase His grace towards thee. Who liveth and 
reigneth God for ever." 

The Orb having been placed in the left hand of the 
Queen, the following prayer was said : 

" Receive the Orb of dignity, and recognize in it the 
sign of the Catholic Faith in thee, because as to-day 
thou art ordained Queen and chief Lady of the kingdom, 
so continue stedfastly to be the author and upholder of 
Christianity and the Faith, that happy in thy work and 
rich in faith thou mayest be glorified with the King of 
kings. Through Him, to Whom be glory, etc/' 

Next followed the Prayer of the Ring, during the 
recital of which the King placed a Ring on the fourth 
finger of the Queen's right hand : 

" Receive the Ring of royal dignity, and recognize in 
it the sign of the Catholic faith in thee, that as to-day 
thou art ordained Queen of the people and chief Lady 
of the kingdom, so continue stedfastly to be the author 


and upholder of Christianity and the Faith, that happy 
in thy work and rich in faith, thou mayest be glorified 
with the King of kings. Through Him, to Whom be 
glory, etc." 

A solemn Te Deum was then ordained to be sung. 
At its close, the Benediction was to be pronounced, and 
Mass was then to be said. During the singing of the 
Offertory, the Queen, supported by two Bishops, was 
to offer seven golden florins, typical of the Seven Cardinal 
Virtues. The Queen, having returned to her royal 
throne, the Mass was to proceed to the close. The 
Queen was then to mount her white horse once more, 
and, holding the Sceptre in her right hand and the Orb 
in her left, wearing her crown on her head, and her 
dalmatic and all the other royal insignia, she was to 
proceed to the King's Palace. And before her, all who 
took part in the procession were to go on foot, the 
Queen only riding. On her arrival at the Palace, she 
was to retire to her apartments, and there lay aside her 
sacerdotal vestments. Clad in a gardacorps and mantle 
of cloth of gold, with a smaller crown on her head, and 
carrying her Sceptre and Orb, she was to descend to the 
dining-hall of the Palace, where she was to dine in 
public, at a table high enough for her to be seen by all 
in the hall. Her chair of state was to be covered with 
a cloth of gold and crimson velvet covering, embroidered 
with her arms and those of the Bang, and over her head 
was to be a canopy to match. And the walls of the 
apartment were to be hung with the most costly hang- 
ings. The Archbishop who had consecrated her was to 
say grace, and the Queen was then to sit down, the 
Sceptre being laid on the table at her right, and the 
Orb at her left. 

The Queen was to dine alone, her ladies and other 
invited guests being accommodated at surrounding 
tables placed on the floor below the dais on which stood 
the Queen's table. At the conclusion of the repast, the 
Queen, grace having been said, was to rise from the 


table, carrying the Sceptre and Orb, and to proceed to 
the great hall where a chair of state was to be prepared 
for her, still more richly covered than that in the dining- 
hall. And the walls of the apartment, like the other, 
were to be hung with the richest hangings. The Queen 
was then to hand the Sceptre and the Orb to two of 
her ladies, and was to be served with wine. To the 
rest of the company comfits and spices 1 were to be 
offered, and afterwards the Queen was to retire to her 
apartments. For this occasion her bed was to be 
covered with a rich counterpane, and the walls of the 
room richly hung, the floor being spread with the most 
magnificent carpets obtainable. For two days the 
Queen was to keep open house, neither riding nor 
going abroad. And for these two days she was to be 
served by the Infantes and grandees, the elder of the 
former acting as Majordomo, and the others filling the 
offices of Chamberlain, Cupbearer, Pantler, Butler, and 

In Aragon, as in England, in mediaeval times, a 
Coronation was the occasion for the display of all those 
" certain devices and marvels/' those " marvellous 
cunning " and " gentlemanlie pageauntes," of which 
who runs may read in the Chronicles alike of Blancas 
and Fabyan. In both countries, we hear of castles 
with towers, bearing aloft their graceful garrison of 
white-robed damsels, erected in the streets through 
which the royal procession was to pass, while fountains 
rained rose-water and comfits on the crowd. For every 
Queen of Aragon, as she passed from her richly tapes- 
tried apartments in the Aljaferia, to the great door of 
the Palace, where her white palfrey awaited her, and 
thence along the ancient streets of Zaragoza, lit by 
countless torches and tapers, through a jostling and 
joyous crowd, there were, no less than for Elizabeth 
of York, Queen of Henry VII, many a quaint conceit, 
" to do her Hyghness sport and pleasure with." 

1 Wafers and hippocras, spices and comfits, were ierved at the Corona- 
tion of Anne Boleyn. 



Marriage contract between Dona Constanza of Sicily and Don Pedro 
eldest son and heir of Don Jaime I, signed at Barcelona, 1260. 

Marriage of the royal pair, at Montpellier, 1262. The bride's chaperon 
and companions. 

Notable visit of the King and Queen of Caatile to Aragon. 

Wars with the Moors. 

Murder of Conradin of Sicily ; his glove sent to his aunt, the Queen of 

Coronation of Dona Constanza, 1276. 

The Sicilian Vespers, 1282, and the Coronation of Don Pedro as King 


Dona Constanza as Regent in Sicily, 1283-1296. 

Death of the Queen. 

Order of the Ceremonial of the Coronation of the Queens of Aragon. 



IN June, 1291, the city of Barcelona, Cervantes' " home 
of courtesy, asylum of strangers, shelter of the poor, 
land of the brave, refuge of offenders, common centre 
of all that is sincere in friendship, a city unequalled for 
situation and beauty/' famous in the history of Aragon 
as a port of coming and going of illustrious travellers, 
talked of nothing but the coming of the Princess Eleanor 
of England, daughter of Edward I, the affianced bride, 
since 1286, of the young King, Alfonso III. It was a 
city made for bridal welcomes. " All here," wrote a 
voyager as late as 1844, " is picture and romance. 
Still the orange, citron, fig, and pomegranate bloom 
around the country-houses set in gardens gay with 
fountains and flowers/' And the description might 
stand also for Barcelona in the dim distance of mediaeval 
times. Five years had elapsed since that memorable 
meeting, at Oleron, of the English and Aragonese 
Kings, when the betrothal of the latter to the daughter 
of the former had been solemnized amid a brilliant 
gathering of knights ; and the memory of the tourneys, 
the banquets, and mimic combats, which had then been 
furnished by the King of England as entertainment for 
his distinguished guest and future son-in-law, still 
lingered with those who had been privileged to witness 
them ; they were to be repeated, upon a more magnifi- 
cent scale, in honour of the royal bride, of whom rumour 
spoke so truly, as " the loveliest and sweetest creature 
in the world." Peace came before her, through the 
intervention of the Pope, between King Alfonso and 



Charles of Anjou ; but she, alas, was not to follow in 
the steps of her herald. Ambassadors had been de- 
spatched to escort her, with fitting ceremony, to her 
future kingdom ; the King busied himself arranging 
tournaments in her honour ; tabladeros and bordonadores 
practised their skilful throwing of darts. The first- 
named of these, it may be mentioned in passing, were 
probably those who used staves instead of lances to 
fling at the swinging-board. Philippe de Commines 
speaks of " bourdonasses," or Italian lances, hollow 
and light, weighing no more than a javelin, and finely 
painted. "It is probable/' says Blancas, " that staves 
were more used than lances in Aragon, as in royal pro- 
cessions there were usually three hundred bordonadores 
to one hundred tiradores." 

Suddenly, the city of flowers was turned into a city of 
mourning. The bridal journey of the Princess Eleanor 
was cruelly frustrated by the death of King Alfonso 
from a glandular swelling in the thigh which he had 
neglected in order to take part in the knightly exercises 
in which he was so proficient. Muntaner, describing 
his Christian end, adds that " he never cared for any 
other woman " save the bride whom he was never to 
welcome to his throne. 

There is a shadowy little figure of a child-bride who, 
if we are to credit the account of Zurita, the most 
painstaking of all the historians of Aragon, bore the 
title of Queen of Aragon for several years at the begin- 
ning of the reign of Don Jaime II. This little Princess 
was Isabel, daughter of Sancho, King of Castile, and his 
wife, Maria de Molina, afterwards to be justly styled the 
Great, one of the most notable Regents of Spain, so rich 
at all times in its history in noble Queens-regent. 
Muntaner indeed is silent as to her existence, although 
his Chronicle narrates at length the visit of the Castilian 
sovereigns to Aragon, on which occasion the marriage 
contract was signed, according to Zurita. But Muntaner, 
discursive and loquacious as he can be when occasion 
offers, knows how to be silent when speech would serve 


the House of Aragon badly, or paint them in an un- 
favourable light. So it is when he writes of his idol, 
the Conqueror. So we should expect it to be when he 
has to gloss over the broken faith of the Conqueror's 
grandson with his girl-betrothed. For broken faith it 
was undoubtedly, notwithstanding the usual plea of 

The alliance with Castile, proffered as it was at the 
moment of his accession to the throne, and carrying 
with it the promise of peace for Aragon indispensable 
to the fortunate pursuit of its foreign policy in Sicily 
presented itself to the young monarch as a bargain that 
could not be bettered. The marriage contract was signed 
at Montagudo, November 29, 1291, the bride being 
then nine years of age, the King of Castile taking a 
solemn oath to assist his son-in-law at all times with 
men and money, to be the friend of his friends, and the 
enemy of his enemies. At Soria, on Sunday, December 1, 
in the presence of the King and Queen of Castile, the 
King of Aragon took their daughter as his wife, taking 
for granted at the same time the Papal dispensation 
which was undoubtedly necessary in their case, being 
related, as they were, in the third degree. Don Jaime 
placed in the hands of his father-in-law ten castles, as 
a pledge of his future fulfilment of his marital obliga- 
tions, solemnly vowing never to put her away for con- 
sanguinity, or for any cause whatsoever, but to live 
faithfully with her as his wife. Faithfulness, however, 
was too hard a test for the grandson of Jaime I. Huesca, 
Gerona, and the hill-country of Prades, together with 
Calatayud, Algeciras, Morella, and Cervera, with all 
their rights and revenues, were assigned to the little 
Queen as her dower. In Calatayud, where the royal 
pair were entertained with the customary displays of 
jousting and feasting, King Sancho and his Queen took 
leave of their son-in-law, leaving their daughter at the 
Court over which she was eventually to reign. The 
King of Aragon, we may believe, was no more con- 
cerned with the child-bride thus left, a stranger in a 


strange land, in his charge, than any other Prince of his 
time would have been with a similar responsibility. 
She would be served and cared for as befitted her rank ; 
it was as much as any mediaeval bride could ask of a 
husband whose hands were full, at home, with difficult 
feudal problems, and abroad with the ever-threatening 
shadow of Anjou on Sicily. The little Queen emerges 
from the seclusion of her life at her husband's Court two 
years after their marriage to take her place at his side 
in their royal progress to meet her parents at Logrono, 
whither they came attended, not only by the customary 
royal retinue, but by a numerous armed escort. Over 
the exact details of this visit, Spanish historians draw 
a veil of reserve. It is supposed that, during their 
interviews, the younger King began to suspect, whether 
rightly or not, that his father-in-law had conceived the 
treacherous project of betraying him into the hands of 
his arch-enemy, Charles of Anjou. Certain it is that from 
that time there was withdrawn from the little Infanta 
that outward state which she had hitherto enjoyed as 
future consort of the Aragonese sovereign. Not she, 
but another, was to bring peace to Aragon. 

With the accession of Boniface VIII to the Papal 
throne, that peace was well in sight. Its outward and 
gracious expression was the offer in token of recon- 
ciliation between the Houses of Aragon and Anjou of 
the hand of Blanche known in Spanish history as 
' The Lady Blanche of Holy Peace "eldest of the 
fourteen children of Charles II, son of the ancient foe of 
Aragon in Sicily, and Marie, daughter of Stephen V of 
Hungary. The announcement of this flattering alliance, 
which involved the surrender by the King of Aragon of 
all his rights to Sicily, receiving in exchange from the 
Papacy Sardinia and Corsica, coincided with that of 
the death of Sancho of Castile. The way of negotiating 
a delicate matter was thus open to Don Jaime. It was 
a matter which it would be easier to discuss with a 
woman, weighed down as Maria de Molina now found 
herself with the cares of a regency, than with a father- 


in-law such as the dead Sancho. It was necessary, in 
short, to acquaint the widowed Queen of Castile with 
the change of circumstances which had arisen since the 
betrothal of Soria, and to prepare her for the return 
of her young daughter to Castile, since it was now the 
Princess Blanche of Anjou who was to be Queen of 
Aragon. A certain Dominican friar and one Simon de 
Azlor were chosen as the Bang's ambassadors, charged 
to convey to the Queen of Castile the final refusal of 
the Pope to grant the dispensation for his marriage 
with Isabel, and to arrange for the restoration to the 
King of Aragon of the castles held by Castile as security 
for the fulfilment of Don Jaime's now broken betrothal 
promises to the Infanta, as well as for the return of the 
Princess to her own country. At the beginning of October, 
the Bishop of Lerida, Don Euy Ximenez de Luna, Don 
Atho de Foces, and Don Lope Frrench de Luna, were 
commanded by the King to hold themselves in readiness 
to act as escort to the Infanta from Tortosa, where it 
is apparent she was then residing, to Daroca, and thence 
to Castile. On December 17, however, the Princess was 
still in Aragon, much correspondence with regard to 
the broken engagement and the restitution of the 
Aragonese castles passing between the Queen-regent of 
Castile and Don Jaime. It was finally suggested that 
the Princess should be met by her mother between 
Daroca and Molina, on the frontier between Aragon 
and Castile, the Infanta being attended, in addition to 
the prelate and knights appointed by the King of 
Aragon, by her governess, Dona Maria Fernandez, and 
all her household. Fresh delays seem to have arisen, 
however, even after this agreement had been come to, 
for King Jaime kept Christmas and the New Year at 
Zaragoza, where his Queen was crowned with a great 
outburst of popular rejoicing, and the Infanta Isabel 
was still at Daroca. It was shortly after the Coronation 
of Queen Blanche that, all the necessary discharges 
having been effected, the Princess took a lasting leave 
of Aragon. Little is known of her after-history, except 


that she became the wife of Jean, Due de Bretagne, and 
died childless. 

Calling in the good company of Ramon Muntaner as 
our guide, we retrace our steps, having sped the parting 
guest across the Castilian borders, to the coming of 
Blanche of Anjou. Accompanied by her father, and by 
the Papal Legate, the Cardinal de San Clemente, with a 
splendid company of Neapolitan and Provenal nobles, 
the Princess was brought from Montpellier to Perpignan, 
where she was to await the arrival of the envoys of the 
King of Aragon, who, meanwhile, was travelling, by 
easy stages, from Barcelona to Gerona, accompanied 
by his brother, Don Pedro, and all his Court. From 
Gerona, he despatched his trusty councillor and con- 
fidant, Don Berenger de Lauria, to Perpignan, with full 
powers to confirm and ratify the treaty of peace and the 
marriage contract, provided that he was favourably 
impressed by the bride-elect. Having seen her, we are 
told, " he was very well satisfied/' and having handed in 
this encouraging report to his royal master, the latter 
at once resumed his journey, taking with him the 
brothers of his future Queen, and all the other hostages, 
who had been in captivity in Catalonia, together with 
a Court that of his betrothed bride comprising the 
noblest dames and demoiselles in the kingdom. From 
Gerona the travellers proceeded to Figueras, the bride's 
train, meanwhile, advancing to Peralade. From the 
Monastery of St. Feliu, between Peralade and Cabanes, 
where the King of Aragon took up his lodging, he sent 
on in advance, in charge of the Infante Don Pedro, the 
Princes of Anjou and their fellow-hostages. Their 
arrival at Peralade was an occasion of great rejoicing, 
not only to the King and Princess, now reunited to their 
sons and brothers, but to others of their suite, who also 
welcomed back their sons after a long separation. The 
royal bridegroom, following fast upon this graceful out- 
ward expression of his sentiments towards his new 
connections, was assured of a princely welcome. If 


Muntaner is to be believed, Don Jaime fell in love with 
the bride whom policy had assigned to him at first 
sight. At their first interview, " he placed a crown 
upon her head, the richest and finest ever borne upon 
the head of any queen ; from that moment, she was 
styled the Queen of Aragon." After a mutual exchange 
of magnificent gifts, it was arranged that the marriage 
should be celebrated at the Monastery of Villa Beltran. 
To accommodate the immense company, the King gave 
orders that a noble structure of wood should be built 
adjacent to the monastery, although it was as com- 
modious as it was stately. The splendour and stateli- 
ness of the festivities lingered long in the memories of 
the people of the countryside, while the impression 
made upon the heart of the bride by those days of 
brilliance and idyllic happiness was never effaced to 
the last hour of her life. 

All historians are agreed that the House of Anjou 
which gave to that of Aragon, once its hereditary foe, 
no less than three brides, the sisters of Queen Blanche, 
Marie and Eleonore, becoming the wives of Sancho, 
King of Majorca, and Fadrique, King of Sicily gave 
of its best to Don Jaime II. Not only beautiful in 
person, but also in mind, discreet and pious, she was, 
says Muntaner, " a fount of grace and goodness/' 
worthy in all respects of her sweet title of honour, " the 
saintly Queen, the White Lady of Holy Peace." At the 
conclusion of the marriage festivities, which lasted 
eight days, the bride's relatives took leave of her and 
returned to Perpignan, where they were hospitably 
entertained by the King of Majorca, whose son, 
Don Jaime, and Monseigneur Louis, brother of Queen 
Blanche, entered into a solemn pact of friendship 
binding themselves at the same time to renounce their 
respective inheritances, and to enter the Order of St. 
Francis. This vow was fulfilled in due course, the 
French Prince becoming Bishop of Toulouse, and 
dying in the odour of sanctity, the Majorcan Prince, 
no less spiritually-minded than his friend, never 

[J. Laurent y (7m., Madrid 


advancing beyond the rank of brother minor in the 

Thus, it must have seemed to the young bride, as she 
went on their royal progress at her husband's side, 
that the seal of a spiritual benediction had been set 
upon their marriage, giving birth, as the occasion had 
done, to the flower of such an ideal and heavenly 
minded friendship. In the midst of her own happiness, 
the young Queen was not unmindful of others. Muntaner 
tells how, while the royal couple were making a honey- 
moon journey through their dominions, Blanche de- 
manded of the King that he should take thought for 
his brother, Don Pedro, who was constantly in attendance 
upon the Queen, and bestow upon him a household 
worthy of his rank, and a bride according to his worth. 
The latter was found for him among one of the most 
illustrious families in Spain in Dona Guilelmina de 
Moncada, daughter of Gaston de Beam, who was richly 
dowered with castles, towns, and other places, together 
with a following of three hundred knights. The marriage 
was celebrated with scarcely less eclat than that of the 
King and Queen themselves, who attended the ceremony 
accompanied by a brilliant Court. At its conclusion, 
the Infante and his bride accompanied the King and 
Queen on their continued journey through Aragon. 
The married life of the young couple was of short dura- 
tion. Don Pedro, who was a noble Prince and brave 
soldier, died in 1297, at the siege of Leon, " making a 
good and Christian end, and desiring that his obsequies 
should be deferred until the return of the army to Aragon, 
where he desired that he might be buried/' It was his 
last wish that a certain knight, Don Ramon de Angle- 
sola (David, as it would seem, to his Jonathan), who had 
also died during the siege, should be buried at his feet 
(" since in life and death he had been so good a com- 
rade "). 

The Lady Blanche of Holy Peace died at Barcelona, 
where the Court was in residence for the greater part of 
the winter of that year, October 14, 1310. She had 


borne ten children to King Jaime II, five sons and 
five daughters. Her second son, the Infante Alfonso, 
succeeded to the throne renounced by his gross-minded 
and eccentric elder brother, the Infante Jaime. The 
Infante Don Juan became Archbishop of Toledo, and 
afterwards of Tarragona, and Patriarch of Alexandria ; 
his two younger brothers being the Infantes Don Pedro 
and Don Ramon Berenger. Queen Blanche's five 
daughters were : the Infanta Maria, who married the 
Infante Don Pedro of Castile, and afterwards embraced 
the religious life in the Convent of Sigena ; the Infanta 
Constanza, who married the Infante Don Juan, son of 
the Infante Don Manuel of Castile ; the Infanta Isabel, 
who married Frederic, Duke of Austria, afterwards 
King of the Romans ; the Infanta Blanca, afterwards 
Prioress of the Convent of Sigena ; and the Infanta 
Violante, who married, first, Philip, Despot of Romania, 
son of the Prince of Tarento, and secondly, the illus- 
trious Don Lope de Luna, Seigneur of the city of 
Segorbe, who, says Zurita, was the first of the grandees 
of Aragon to marry the legitimate daughter of a reign- 
ing sovereign. In a later reign, this House, which gave 
a Pope to the Chair of St. Peter, gave also a Queen- 
consort to Aragon. 

Queen Blanche was buried, by her own desire, in the 
Monastery of Santas Creus. Her children, as would appear 
from contemporary evidence, were taken charge of, 
after her death, by the daughters of a notable person- 
age, near of kin to the House of Aragon, Dona Con- 
stanza, Empress of Constantinople, as she was styled, 
a natural daughter of Frederic II, King of Sicily, and, 
consequently, paternal aunt of Constance, Queen of 
Pedro III, and mother of Don Jaime II. After the 
death of her husband, John Ducas Vatazzo, Emperor 
of Nicea, in 1255, and the accession of her stepson, 
Theodore Lascaris II, to his throne, and later, the 
usurpation of Miguel Paleologus, Dona Constanza took 
refuge at Naples, whence she followed her sister-in-law, 
the widowed Queen of Manfred, into exile, eventually 


finding an honourable asylum at the Court of Aragon, 
receiving from Pedro III, her nephew by marriage, an 
estate in Valencia, and several other royal favours. 
Her two daughters, or granddaughters, the Infantas 
Lascara and Vataca, played a somewhat important part 
as political agents and confidantes of the Royal Family 
in both this and the succeeding reigns. Zurita states 
that one at least of the daughters of Queen Blanche, 
namely Violante was brought up by the Empress of 
Constantinople at Valencia, but although the exact 
date of Dona Constanza's death is in dispute, it seems 
probable that she died two or three years before the 
Queen, and that her daughters, especially Yolande, or 
Violante, married to Don Pedro de Ayerbe, from whom 
she was subsequently divorced, were actually in charge 
of the royal children. It was an office which Dona 
Vataca filled in Castile, having been given charge by 
Constanza, Queen of Ferdinand IV, of her son the 
Infante Alfonso. 

Dona Blanca and Dona Maria were both inmates of 
Sigena for some years, the former as Prioress, but the 
royal sisters in turn abandoned their residence there, 
owing to the unhealthiness of the site, of which there 
were continuous complaints throughout its history. 
Although the Prioress renounced her office, yet her 
convent was affectionately remembered in her will, 
with a legacy of 24,000 sueldos. Both of the Infantas 
were present in Zaragoza at the Coronation of their 
nephew, Don Pedro III. 


In spite of the idyllic quality of his first marriage, 
Don Jaime II did not long remain a disconsolate 
widower. His second choice of a Queen impelled, it is 
not unreasonable to suppose, by reports brought to 
Barcelona by Catalonian traders with Cyprus was from 
the illustrious House of Lusignan, sovereign lords at 


that time of the Mediterranean island. Commercial 
relations between Cyprus and Barcelona had been of 
long standing, the maritime records of the latter port 
abounding in mediaeval references to the trade carried 
on with the former. Merchants of Barcelona had 
branches of their business in Famagusta, the exports 
shipped to Cyprus consisting of cloths of various colours, 
saffron, coral, jars of honey, and pipes of oil. From 
Cyprus, it is probable that the wardrobes of the great 
ladies of Aragon had been replenished, even before the 
coming of a Cypriote Queen, with specimens of that 
sumptuous gold embroidery on silk for which the 
women of Cyprus were famous in the Middle Ages. The 
ties of commerce were now to be strengthened by more 
romantic bonds. Scarcely a widower for a year, Don 
Jaime despatched to the Court of Henry de Lusignan 
an embassy consisting of Mateo de Licha, Knight- 
Commander of the Order of the Hospitallers of Barce- 
lona, and his brother, Juan, Knight and Prior of the 
Convent of St. John of Rhodes, charged with the 
mission of asking of the King of Cyprus and of his 
mother, Queen Isabel, the hand of one of the two 
daughters of the latter, Maria or Heloise. At the 
moment of the arrival of the Aragonese ambassadors, 
the rebellious and dissolute conduct of Amalric, brother 
to the King and ultimate heir to his throne, was giving 
such concern to the latter, that it was proposed to 
substitute for Amalric and his children in the line of 
succession the two Princesses, his sisters, as co-heiresses. 
The ambassadors of the King of Aragon, who had been 
joined by Foulques de Vilareto, Grand Master of the 
Order of St. John of Rhodes, boldly demanded the 
hand of the younger Princess, with Cyprus as her 
marriage-portion, for their master. To this request, 
however, King Henry replied that neither he nor his 
notables could consent to depriving the elder Princess 
of her prior claim upon the crown, although he was 
willing that Don Jaime should marry her, lawful heiress 
as she was, not only to Cyprus, but to Jerusalem. She 


was not only beautiful, and of suitable age, but so wise 
and discreet that the King, her brother, did nothing 
without consulting her. This alliance being arranged, 
it was further proposed that King Henry's younger 
sister, Heloise, should be betrothed to Don Jaime's 
second son, the Infante Alfonso, her dowry, like that 
of her sister, making her a fit match for the greatest 
prince in Christendom, and that the King of Cyprus 
himself should take for his Queen the Infante Violante, 
daughter of Don Jaime, then being brought up at 
Valencia by the Empress of Constantinople, kins- 
woman and confidante of the House of Aragon. Both 
of these matrimonial projects, however, miscarried. 

Numerous marriages in his own immediate family 
circle took precedence of the solemnization of Don 
Jaime's marriage with the Princess Maria. The year 
1312 witnessed the marriage, at Calatayud, of the 
Infante Don Pedro of Castile with the Infanta Maria, 
daughter of the King of Aragon by his first wife, Blanche 
of Anjou. Don Miguel Perez de Arbe, knight of the 
royal household of Castile, had been charged on Novem- 
ber 20, 1311, with the twofold mission of arranging 
the date of this marriage, and also of escorting to 
Aragon the little Infanta, Leonor, daughter of the King 
of Castile, betrothed to the Infante Don Jaime, son of 
the King of Aragon, in order that she might be brought 
up, as was the custom, at the Court over which she was 
eventually to rule. It was by devious ways, it may be 
added, that this Infanta attained at length to Queen- 
ship of Aragon, as the later pages of this volume will 
show. The marriage of Don Pedro with the Aragonese 
Princess and the arrival of her brother's three-year- 
old betrothed took place at Christmastide, 1311. In 
February of the following year, at Teruel, Don Jaime 
received the ambassadors of Frederic, Duke of Austria, 
son of Albert, King of the Romans, who sought the 
hand of the Infanta Isabel, the King's daughter, for 
their royal master. The bridegroom of twenty-three 
was as handsome as he was noble, both by birth and in 


mind, while his chosen bride was at least his equal in 
beauty of face and in " excellent virtues." In June of 
the following year, the Duke's envoys arrived in Barce- 
lona to conclude the marriage, the dowry of the Infanta 
being fixed at 15,000 silver marks. On October 14, the 
Princess was married by proxy, Rudolph of Lichten- 
stein acting as the Duke's representative. A month 
later, the bride, attended by the Bishop of Gerona 
and Don Felipe de Saluces, travelled by way of Per- 
pignan, Avignon, and Savoy, to the Tyrol, where she 
was met by the disquieting news that, owing to the 
dissensions which had arisen in Germany regarding the 
Imperial inheritance of the Emperor Henry, the con- 
summation of the marriage must be postponed. It 
was not until February of the following year that 
Frederic, now elected King of the Romans, placed the 
Imperial crown on the brow of his bride in the city of 

In the spring of 1314, the marriage contract between 
Don Jaime of Aragon and the Princess Maria of Cyprus 
was signed at Valencia, the King's witnesses being 
his brother, Don Sancho, Simon de Azlor, and Pedro 
Soler, those of the Princess being Bishop Nimioceus, 
Friar Americo, and Hugo de Beduinis, Cypriote notables. 
The dowry of the Princess was 300,000 bezants of silver 
of Cyprus, 50,000 bezants being her mother's gift and 
the remainder her brother's. On August 21, Martin 
Perez de Oros, Admiral of the Order ,of St. John and 
Lieutenant of the Master of the Order in the Castellany 
of Amposta, " a famous and valiant knight," was 
deputed by the King to proceed to Cyprus, in order 
to attend upon the bride-elect on her voyage to Aragon. 
Don Martin was also the bearer of a ring sent by Don 
Jaime to the Princess in token of his affiance. This 
was placed upon the bride's finger by Peter, Bishop of 
Rhodes, Legate and Patriarch of Jerusalem, in the 
presence of all the Bishops of Cyprus and the brilliant 
Court of the Palace of Nicosia, the ceremony being 
followed by a princely banquet, at whose glories we 


may faintly guess, the state of the House of Lu- 
signan in their island kingdom having been the peer 
of any in Western Christendom. Stephen the Monk, 
of that House, has painted for us alike its splendours 
and the odorous and idyllic beauty of its setting, 
Cyprus then, as now, being truly an " Island of En- 
chantment." The betrothed of the King of Aragon 
was to journey to her new home as a king's daughter. 
Four galleys were fitted out by order of the King of 
Cyprus ; on one of these his sister embarked about 
the middle of September, the suite in attendance com- 
prising Baldwin, Bishop of Famagusta, Nicholas of 
St. Bertino, Governor of the city of Paphos, and Robert 
Ardia, chief senator of the Kingdom of Cyprus, besides 
a great company of noble knights. Thus escorted, as 
befitted the sister and the bride of kings, Maria of 
Cyprus bade farewell to her island home for ever. She 
was accompanied by a kinswoman, the daughter of 
Felipe dTbelin, Seneschal of Cyprus, herself a betrothed 
bride, her future husband being Don Fernando, Infante 
of Majorca, and kinsman of Don Jaime of Aragon, by 
whom she was met at Chiarenza, where the marriage 
was solemnized with great rejoicings and a banquet, 
which also served by way of courteous greeting to the 
royal bride on the part of her husband's kinsman. The 
itinerary of the Cypriote Princess's journey shows her 
voyage to have been an unduly protracted one, even 
for those days of leisurely navigation. After leaving 
the Morean port, the galleys proceeded to Palermo, 
where they arrived on September 5. The city offered 
a cordial welcome to the illustrious traveller, who rested 
at Castellamare for two days. Calling next at Sardinia, 
she was hospitably entertained by Mariano, Justiciar 
of Arborea, before continuing her voyage to the Balearic 
Isles. On emerging from the port of Mahon, the flotilla 
was compelled, by stress of weather encountered there- 
after, to take shelter at Marseilles. Word having been 
sent thence to the King that the bride was greatly 
fatigued by her long voyage, Don Jaime gave orders 


that the remainder of the journey should be accom- 
plished by land. On November 17, Ponce, Bishop of 
Barcelona, and Vidal de Vilanova, were commanded to 
proceed to Roussillon ; *on the 27th, the bride with her 
escort arrived at Gerona, where she was met by the 
King, to whom she was married in that city, with great 
rejoicings, afterwards receiving the crown of Queen- 
consort, although no details of her Coronation are to 
be found in the pages of the history of her adopted 
country. We know, at least, that loneliness was not 
long in overtaking her ; nor was it to be wondered at, 
since she had exchanged one of the most luxurious 
Courts of the Middle Ages for that of Aragon, chiefly 
concerned with the ceaseless tumult and turmoil of 
war. In the fortress-palaces of her husband's kingdom 
how often she must have pined for the garden-isle of her 
birth, for its groves of orange, pomegranate, citron, 
mulberry, acacia, olive, and palm, for the vision of the 
happy valley of Makaria, across whose far-famed loveli- 
ness she was to gaze no more from the casements of her 
brother's palace at Nicosia ! How she would pine to 
hear once more the merry laughter and the jingling 
bells of the hunting- train sport made ideal in that land of 
" the richest and most generous lords in Christendom " 
of their day, one of whom, the Count of Jaffa, alone, 
kept no less than five hundred hunting dogs. Memories 
of scented waters rose, jasmine, and many another of 
which the secret has long been lost to the distiller 
would be wafted to her with the lifting of every lid of 
her cypress-wood coffers, with their metal inlaying, with 
every breath of her perfumed " oiselets de Chypre " 
that favourite toy of the mediaeval boudoir which she 
was probably the first to introduce into Aragon. These 
pomanders of scented paste, generally moulded into 
the shape of a bird hence their name were hung in 
the apartments of great ladies, in cages or similar 
receptacles, to serve the double purpose of purifying 
as well as of perfuming the room. A heavy and dis- 
appointed heart beat, we may be sure, beneath the 


royal robes, thick with " ors de Chypre," of Maria of 
Aragon ; heavy, because of its homesickness, disap- 
pointed, because of her childlessness. Her sumptuous 
wardrobe itself would grow to be a weariness, since she 
might not wear it in that Cypriote setting which alone 
might have fitly framed it. In the records of Aragon we 
search in vain for any outward semblance of this Queen. 
If we are to picture the long-dead lady in the fashion 
of her day, we must turn to the ancient tombs in the 
Church of the Armenians in Nicosia, where the lords 
and ladies of the House of Lusignan sleep their last 
sleep, in rich armour and graceful dress. Did this 
daughter of their race, we wonder, wear the double 
jupe and tightly buttoned and fitting sleeve, the coil 
of plaited hair, framing the oval face, of that Marie de 
Bessau, who, as her tomb attests, departed this life in 
the year 1322, at the age of eighteen ? Or, are we to 
clothe her in memory with the queenly brial or regal 
garnacha of her sister sovereigns, with flowing, gold- 
hemmed veil sweeping from beneath her jewelled 
crown ? It shall be as we will, for the true portrait was 
never painted. 

There is abundant evidence that Don Jaime, pre- 
occupied though he was with affairs of State, was not 
altogether unmindful of his consort's happiness, as 
may be gathered from an incident recorded in the 
royal correspondence of 1316. On January 5 of that 
year we find him writing to Dona Violante de Ayerbe, 
or Violante of Greece, as she is sometimes styled in 
similar documents, daughter of the Empress of Con- 
stantinople, to whose charge of the children of the 
late Queen, Blanche, she had, apparently, succeeded 
at this date, to bring the little Infanta, Violante, 
from Huesca, where she was residing, to Tortosa, 
where the Court was in residence, that she " might be 
company for the Queen." In addition to Dona Violante 
de Ayerbe, the Infanta was to be attended, the King 
directs, by Juana de Almoravit, Elisenda de Guanechs, 
Blanche de Vilaregut, her nurse, a waiting-woman, and 


the noble Don Artal de Azlor. Besides her little step- 
daughter, whose coming doubtless created the new 
interest in the Queen's life for which her husband had 
designed it, there was another young Infanta at Court, 
the Princess Leonor of Castile, the betrothed bride of 
the Infante Don Jaime, the King's eldest son. In 1319, 
this coarse-minded hypochondriac, dragged to the foot 
of the altar to fulfil his solemn vow to take the Princess 
for his wife, repudiated her at the conclusion of the 
nuptial Mass, and, taking flight from the Court, assumed 
the monastic habit, resigning his rights to the throne 
to his next brother, Don Alfonso. 

The Infanta Leonor was immediately sent back to 
Castile ; she was to return to Aragon, as we shall see, 
as Queen, after all. 

At Barcelona, in 1315, Queen Maria had held in her 
arms doubtless with all the never-to-be-satisfied yearn- 
ing of a childless woman's heart a tiny traveller, en 
route for Perpignan, in the care of that trusty servant of 
the House of Aragon, Ramon Muntaner, who has left 
us an intimate and touching picture of his voyage from 
Sicily with his precious charge. The child in question 
was the Infante Jaime, born of the first marriage of 
Don Fernando, Infante of Majorca, with that lovely 
young creature, Isabelle of Morea, " most white, most 
rose, most shapely," as Muntaner paints her. She had 
died, in the flush of her youth and wedded happiness, a 
month after the birth of her son, and on his second 
marriage with the Queen of Aragon's kinswoman, Don 
Fernando had sent the child to be brought up by his 
grandmother, Queen Sancha, then residing at Perpignan. 
To assist him in his responsible mission, Muntaner made 
shrewd choice of a mother of twenty-two children, 
Dame Agnes d'Adri, besides the nurse, and several other 
ladies. All of them suffered so severely from sea- 
sickness on their voyage to Barcelona, that Muntaner 
" never had the child out of his arms day nor night." 
At Barcelona, as we have said, the little Infante was 
warmly welcomed by his royal kinsfolk, " the King 


desiring to see, to embrace, and to bless him." The 
journey to Perpignan was made in the worst of weather, 
wind and rain beating pitilessly on the litter in which 
the Infante rode with his nurse, which was covered with 
waxed cloth, cosy with red woollen curtains, and was 
borne on the shoulders of twenty men. A compensating 
welcome, however, awaited the baby at his journey's 
close, and Muntaner, having relinquished his charge 
into the arms of his royal grandmother, prolonged his 
stay at Perpignan for a fortnight, going twice daily to 
the Palace, to see the little Prince. 

The life of Maria de Lusignan in Aragon closed 
stormily. In April, 1321, the King being absent from 
Barcelona, certain Jew^s of the city came into conflict 
with the servants of the Queen's household, maltreating 
them and insulting them. This gave great offence to the 
Queen, the city refusing to punish the delinquents until 
the return of the King. His consort, however, was well- 
nigh done with worldly concerns. She had sickened at 
Tortosa at the end of March of an illness which was to 
prove mortal. She died in that city at Easter, desiring 
to be buried in the Monastery of the Preaching Friars, 
in the habit of the Order. A year later, the King 
married Dona Elisenda de Moncada, " a lady of great 
lineage," daughter of Don Pedro de Moncada, and his 
wife, Dona Elisenda de Pinos, and sister of Don Ot de 
Moncada, the intimate friend and valiant servant of the 
House of Aragon in peace and war, whom we find stand- 
ing sponsor for the first-born son of the Infante Alfonso 
and his consort, Dona Teresa de Entenza. 

All that we know of the fourth Queen of Jaime II, 
slight though it be, is in her favour. She was almost 
certainly brought up at the Court over which she 
was eventually herself to preside, and was doubtless 
one of the ladies of her predecessor, Queen Maria of 
Cyprus. Her marriage with the King took place at 
Tarragona, where the Court kept the Christmas of 
1322, the wedding-day being signalized by the raising 


of the standard of the Infante Alfonso at Barcelona, 
prior to his departure for Sardinia. In striking and 
happy contrast to other stepmothers in the history of 
the royal House of Aragon, the influence of this Queen 
was ever on the side of peace and harmony in her 
adoptive family. When the interest of her husband's 
eldest son is jeopardized by the King's open 
favouritism of his second son, Don Pedro, it is Queen 
Elisenda, affectionately attached to both Don Alfonso 
and his young wife, who proves their literal friend at 
Court. Her deeply religious instinct found outward 
expression in the foundation, in 1325, of the Convent 
of Santa Maria de Pedralhas, where she was afterwards 
to find sepulture. Widowed in 1327, the veil of retire- 
ment which was either imposed upon the Queens of 
Aragon on the death of their consorts, or which they 
willingly assumed, falls upon Queen Elisenda, lifting 
once more as she takes her place in that long, illustrious 
procession of two Kings, three Queens, four Infantes, 
two Princesses, one Cardinal, seven Bishops, twelve 
mitred Abbots, and a great train of magnates, knights, 
and nobles, which attended the translation of the 
relics of St. Eulalia, patroness of Barcelona, to her 
Cathedral shrine in 1338. Then the veil falls for the 
second time, to lift again, upon her stately effigy, in 
every line a Queen, in the shadow of her Convent- 

It is one of the most noble monuments in the roll 
of Spanish iconography, rescued from oblivion and 
immortalized for us by the indefatigable labours of 
Senor de Carderera y Solano among the royal tombs of 
his native land. The recumbent statue speaks eloquently 
of one who, as one writer says, buried in the cloister her 
youth and beauty, but not her goodness and piety. 
For thirty-seven years of solitude she gave herself up 
to succouring widows and needy gentlewomen, and 
ransoming captives ; to a life, in short, of most fervent 
piety |and most marvellous charity. Recluse, but yet 
a Queen it is thus that her marble image portrays her. 


Her rich crown holds in place the floating veil, brocaded 
with golden palms in groups of three. The ungirdled 
robe falls in gracious folds to the feet that rest upon 
two dogs, symbols of fidelity. The mantle, clasped 
upon the breast by the familiar lozenge-shaped agrafe, 
is enriched with a design of flowers and lions, and edged 
with pearls and precious stones, the fabric Eastern in 
origin. Form, features, and dress, all speak to us 
of one of the noblest and most saintly of all the 
Queens of Aragon. If we are to seek her epitaph, 
Bernat Metge, that prince of courtly satirists whom 
we are to meet at a later Court of Aragon, has com- 
posed it for us. Reviewing the Queens of his native 
land, he confers a double crown upon Elisenda de 
Moncada, Queen of Aragon, and Queen of Pedralhas, 
" full of goodness, always interceding for the people, 
never refusing her generous liberality to the poor. 
After the King's death, she completed the Convent of 
Pedralhas, begun in his lifetime, and ended her days 
there, in the odour of sanctity." 

Jaime II, himself credited with the composition of 
a hymn to the Blessed Virgin, was the patron, as 
Pedro III had been before him, of the noble trouba- 
dour, Amanieu Des-Escas, or de Secas (St. Martin-de- 
Sescas, near La Reole), author of two love epistles 
and the same number of " Instructions " (" ensen- 
hamens ") (one addressed to a page or young gentle- 
man at Court, and the other to a young lady in the 
same position), who kept, it is supposed, a brilliant 
Court at the castle to which he owed his patronymic, 
Escas being the name of a place in the Countship of 
Urgel. It is possible that the " doncella " who, as he 
tells us, broke in upon his reverie as he walked one day 
in the month of May, " when little birds make merry 
and sing among the groves," thinking of his beloved, 
was one of the household of Blanche, the Lady of Holy 
Peace, the first Queen of his royal patron. To what 
more expert master of manners and deportment, 
skilled in all the intricacies of Court etiquette and 


knightly behaviour, could the anxious young aspirant 
for her royal mistress's commendation betake herself 
when in doubt as to the right fulfilment of her duties ? 

Promptly and punctiliously, Des-Escas proceeds to 
instruct the timid novice in all those manifold offices 
which the customs of the times exacted even from 
the noblest damoiselle in attendance upon queen or 
countess. She is to rise at dawn, wash, and afterwards, 
tightly button her sleeves, never omitting to clean her 
teeth every morning ! Care of the nails, of the whole 
body, and, above all, of the head, which is most in 
evidence, are strictly enjoined upon the " doncella " ! 
To this end, an undimmed mirror is essential. Having 
completed her own toilette, she is now ready to attend 
upon her lady, as soon as the latter rises. She is to 
take care, however, not to enter the apartment of the 
latter until the lord has left it. Besides the set of gar- 
ments for the day, the " doncella " must have at hand 
a needle, silk, thread, a comb, and all else that may be 
necessary for dressing her lady's hair. As soon as she 
rises, the " doncella " must hold her mirror while she 
dresses, in order that she may see that there is nothing 
amiss with strings, knots, or ornaments. She then 
fetches water and a towel, and, the lady's ablutions 
finished, the " doncella " must pass her costume in 
review, in order that nothing unseemly or awry may 
be detected by critical eyes therein. The " doncella " 
must not be loquacious, and should be careful how she 
comports herself when hearing Mass in a monastery, 
never lifting her eyes from the ground, or removing 
them from the altar ; nor must she make that holy 
place an opportunity for conversation or consultation, 
although, on leaving the church, she may join her 
young companions at recreation, provided always that 
the fun does not become too boisterous, rude jests 
being unbecoming in a " doncella." She must look 
well to the mending and darning of her garments, and 
take care never to be seen with any rent therein. Hints 
for table manners follow the instruction in boudoir and 


churchgoing deportment. She is to drink watered wine, 
to wash her hands before eating, to take a lower seat 
than her lady's, and to be always polite and courteous 
in speech to all. 


Betrothal of Alfonso III to the Princess Eleanor of England, and death 
of the King on the eve of his marriage, 1291. 

Accession of Don Jaime II, his betrothal to Dona Isabel of Castile, 1291. 

Marriage of Don Jaime and Dona Blanca of Anjou. 

Their children. 

Death of the Queen, 1310. 

The King betrothed to the Princess Maria de Lusignan, of Cyprus, 

Journey to Aragon. Her marriage and home-sickness. 

Death of Dona Maria, 1321. 

Don Jaime marries Dona Elisenda de Moncada, 1322. 

Dona Elisenda founds the Convent of Santa Maria de las Pedralhas, 

Death of Dona Elisenda. 

" Instructions '' to doncellas. 



HERE and there, the stately ranks of those who actually 
attained to the wearing of the crown of Queen of 
Aragon are broken, as we pass them in review, by the 
shadowy shapes of those from whose hold it vanished 
when well within their grasp. Of more than one it may 
be whispered above the uncrowned head, long laid in 
dust : " How well she would have worn it ! fl At the 
tomb of none of them all may such a tribute be more 
fitly offered than at the grave of Teresa de Entenza. 
If the title of Queen of Aragon cannot be withheld as 
indeed it never has been from those Princesses who 
bore it in right of their betrothal only, it is a title which 
can scarcely be denied to one of the noblest and most 
devoted of the consorts of the heirs to the throne of 

The House of Entenza, one of the most ancient and 
honourable in Spain, Lords of the Countship of Urgel, 
more than one member of whom had covered themselves 
with glory in the conquests of Valencia, Majorca, and 
Sardinia, closed a chapter in its history with the death, 
in 1312, of Sancho de Entenza, who, dying childless, 
had made a shrewd disposition of his possessions and 
of the hand of his young heiress, Dona Teresa, daughter 
of his brother, Don Gombau de Entenza. On payment 
of the sum of 100,000 (of Jaca), Urgel was to pass to 
the Crown ; for its youthful Countess, King Jaime, in 
accordance with the will of her uncle, devised a high 
destiny. On November 10, 1312, at Lerida, in the 
presence of the Aragonese Court, her hand was bestowed 


|y. Laurent y da., Madrid 


upon the Infante Alfonso, then twelve years of age. 
It was a diplomatic as well as a fortunate alliance. If, 
by the betrothal of his eldest son, Don Jaime (who had 
not yet disgraced his order and insulted his affianced 
bride by his desertion of her at the altar steps and his 
voluntary renunciation of his inheritance and assump- 
tion of the monastic habit), to the Infanta Leonor of 
Castile, the King had secured to Aragon a powerful 
ally without, that of his second son to te the richest 
heiress in Spain who was not a king's daughter " would 
prove no less politic within its borders. Her count- 
ships and baronies, towns and castles, over and above 
the charming personality which was hers by nature 
" she was," says Muntaner, " one of the best ladies in 
the world, and one could make a volume of the many 
instances of her goodness " made her a fit mate for a 
king's son. Had Don Alfonso died before the con- 
summation of the marriage, it was stipulated that 
Dona Teresa should become the wife of his younger 
brother, Don Pedro, while, in the event of the death of 
the little bride before the princely young couple had 
set up housekeeping on their own account, her younger 
sister, Dona Urraca (afterwards married to Don Arnaldo 
Koger, Count of Pallars, son of Hugo de Mataplana), 
was to take her place. None of these untoward events 
came to pass, and six years after her marriage, on 
September 5, 1319, in her own city of Balaguer, the 
Infanta Teresa gave birth to her eldest son, a weakly 
infant, who was not expected to survive many hours, 
but who was afterwards to reign, for fifty years, as 
Pedro the Ceremonious, over the Kingdom of Aragon. 
Three years later, the young Countess of Urgel, of 
whom we hear meanwhile exercising feudal rights, 
coining money, and signing documents, in her count- 
ship, was called to leave her child and home to embark 
upon a distant and distasteful journey. The call indeed 
was to her husband, but this faithful wife does not seem 
to have hesitated for an instant in the obedience which 
she was no less ready to yield. On his father's third 


wedding-day, the Infante Alfonso, charged by the 
King with the conquest of Sardinia, ceded to Aragon 
by the Popes, but disputed by the Pisans, set up his 
standard at Barcelona. Preparations for the expedition 
were a year in progress, during which time the Infante 
travelled throughout the length and breadth of the 
kingdom, and gathered around him the brilliant army 
with which he finally embarked at Potfangos, June 1, 
1322, numbering twenty thousand men, aboard seventy 
galleys and twenty-four armed ships. The heroic 
Infanta, attended by a numerous suite of ladies, sailed 
in the " coca " of Arnaldo and Bernardo Ballester, 
citizens of Barcelona. 

The Aragonese expedition to Sardinia forms one of 
the most tragic episodes in the external policy of that 
kingdom in the fourteenth century. Victory indeed 
waited on the Infante's arms ; the island- jewel of 
Sardinia was firmly set, ere the campaign closed, in the 
crown which Alfonso himself was destined to wear ; 
but at what a cost ! Of all that brilliant army, all that 
gay and gallant train, which followed in the wake of the 
Infante and his noble wife, more than two-thirds were 
to find a grave in exile. Epidemic sickness in its most 
virulent form, engendered by the pestilential miasma 
rising from the swampy ground, decimated the investing 
army of Aragon. Death stalked triumphant even 
through the royal residence, snatching from the Infanta's 
side all her ladies save two, and only relinquishing its 
grasp upon both husband and wife when both had been 
brought to the verge of the grave. Even the enchanted 
orchards and gardens of Iglesias, musical with the song 
of its famous nightingales, were powerless to lift the 
shadow of depression from those sick souls, to whom 
strangers ministered, in lieu of those familiar faces that 
had kept the remembrance of Aragon sweet and constant 
before them. How often must the young mother have 
rejoiced that prudence, prevailing over mother-love, 
had left her delicate little son, the Infante Don Pedro, 
behind her, in the charge of Don Pedro de Luna, Arch- 


bishop of Zaragoza ! Her separation from her child 
lasted for two years. On July 8, 1324, the princely pair 
set sail for Barcelona, which they reached on August 8. 
Their welcome was that of returning conquerors, though 
it is said that King Jaime refused to embrace his son 
until he had changed for a Catalan costume the Sardinian 
dress in which he had elected to appear before the Court. 

It is probable that Dona Teresa's constitution had 
been irrecoverably shattered by that fatal island- 
sojourn. The upas-seed sown in Sardinia was to bear 
the flower of death for her also, no less than for those 
whom she had unwittingly taken to a land of no return. 
She was the mother of three living children, Don Pedro, 
Don Jaime, and Dona Constanza afterwards Queen 
of Majorca a son, Alfonso, and a daughter, Isabel, 
having predeceased her when, in October, 1327, she 
gave birth, at Zaragoza, to her youngest child, Sancho, 
whose brief life of a few days cost that of his mother. 
She was laid to rest, October 29, 1327, being the Feast 
of Saints Simon and Jude, in the Church of the Fran- 
ciscan Friars Minor ; " God in His goodness keep her 
soul, holy and blessed lady as she was ! " prays the 
knight, Muntaner, adding : " She made her Last Com- 
munion, confessed, and was shriven, like the good 
Catholic she was, pleasing to God and to the world ; 
and God desired her in His kingdom while still in her 
youth ; and in the city of Zaragoza she was much 
regretted and much wept for. She ended her days in 
the service of God, even as He had ordained." 

It remained for conjugal love to raise over the beloved 
and worthy dead such a monument as should be an 
attestation in stone not only of her virtues but of her 
rank. So that, on her tomb of " cunning workmanship " 
was set, round about her sleeping effigy robed in the 
habit of the Religious of St. Clare, with sandalled feet 
not only groups of mourning figures, mutely testifying 
to the sorrow of her husband and his people, but the 
crown she never wore, and the arms of Entenza the 
black and golden chequers mingled with those of 


Aragon. She made her grave with her children gone 
before her Don Sancho and Dona Isabel the former 
effigy that of a little boy with flowing hair, and a 
garland of flowers on his brow. 

Like many another illustrious lady of mediaeval 
Aragon, the will of Dona Teresa lets in upon the char- 
acter of the testatrix a flood of enlightenment. The 
long list of her bequests prove her to have been a 
grateful and remembering soul, mindful, to the last 
hour of her life, of the claims of all those who were 
bound to her by ties of kinship or service. She provides 
for her old and faithful nurse, Toda Martinez, who had 
also been nurse to the Infante Don Pedro, with a 
pension of 1000 sueldos per annum, so that she might 
not end her days in want. To Geraldona, who seems 
to have succeeded Toda in the care of the little Infante, 
and who was also nurse to Dona Constanza, their 
mother bequeathed 2000 sueldos a year. To Ana de 
Podiatis, Geraldona de Monsonis, Francisca de Morello, 
and Sibilia de Otgero, her waiting- women, their mistress 
leaves 1000 sueldos as dowry. Garcia Rodriguez de 
Boxadores is remembered in practical fashion for his 
" great services rendered to her " with a legacy of 3000 
sueldos per annum. To her kinswoman, and namesake, 
Teresa de Entenza, betrothed to Ramon de Boil, there 
is a bequest of 60,000 sueldos, Don Ramon receiving 
10,000 sueldos. A sister of Teresa's, named Beren- 
guerona, is also named in the will. Toda de Peralta 
is dowered with 40,000 sueldos. Yet another Teresa, 
who married Francisco de Morello, citizen of Balaguer, 
received from the Infanta's husband, then Alfonso IV, 
on the occasion of her marriage, March 1, 1330, a grant 
of 3000 sueldos for her trousseau, in fulfilment, it may 
be, of an old promise to his dead wife. To her natural 
brother, Ponce Hugo de Entenza, Dona Teresa be- 
queathed a sum of 15,000 sueldos. Had she lived but 
five days longer, the consort of Alfonso IV would have 
been Queen of Aragon, her father-in-law, Don Jaime, 
passing away at Barcelona, November 2, 1327, at the 


age of sixty-six, after a long illness. The remains of 
the dead monarch were temporarily deposited in the 
Church of the Friars Minor at Barcelona, pending the 
return of the new King from Zaragoza, where he was 
attending the funeral of his consort. On his arrival at 
Barcelona, the body of his predecessor was solemnly 
removed to Santa Cruz, where it was interred beside 
his first wife, Blanche of Naples. 

As with ordinary men, so with kings, the best of the 
man's life is often buried in his wife's grave ; none the 
less surely because her place must needs be speedily 
filled, now because the sting of loneliness is well-nigh 
insupportable, now because of reasons of state. So it 
was with Alfonso IV of Aragon, called from the funeral 
bier of an adored and noble wife to ascend the " lonely 
splendour " of his throne. Had the dead wife lived 
but five days longer ! Aragon, and her children, too, 
saw the golden " hopes of unaccomplished years " go 
down into the dust with her who should have been one 
of the most illustrious of its Queens. It was the cruellest 
irony that snatched her from her husband's side at the 
very moment when he stood most in need of her. She 
was the strong, loving woman he had needed all his life ; 
never more than at the threshold of his kingship. If 
she had been indispensable to the royal lieutenant of 
Sardinia, whom she had followed at the call of duty 
into the jaws of death, she was a thousandfold more 
so to the King, confronted with the heavy burden of 
sovereignty. With her, passed, too, from the children 
to whom she had been a tender and devoted mother, 
the sunshine which her love had shed upon the royal 
family, a sunshine destined to be darkly eclipsed by 
the shadow of a stepmother. There were, however, 
two years of respite for father and children. The early 
days of his twofold mourning for wife and father 
found the new King in the retirement of Monblanch, 
whence he passed to keep the Christmas of that year 
of sadness at Barcelona, with none of the customary 
marks of seasonable rejoicing. But a king's mourning 


must not last too long. At Easter, it was announced, 
the ceremony of the deferred Coronation would take 
place at Zaragoza. This solemnity was, historians 
assure us, one of the most splendid ever witnessed in 
the Cathedral-city. Not only from sister cities through- 
out the length and breadth of Spain flocked the flower of 
knighthood, princes of the Church, gentle and simple, 
to do honour to their King. Castile, Navarre, Bohemia, 
Granada, Sardinia, Gascony, Provence, all sent their 
ambassadors. Such an Easter had never been kept 
in Zaragoza. Noble chiefs of the great feudal families 
of Aragon thronged the streets of the city, each attended 
by a glittering cavalcade of retainers. Ramon Muntaner, 
one of the six deputies chosen by the city of Valencia to 
represent its citizens, came bravely to the front, with 
his company of one hundred and twelve persons. Before 
them rode, in royal livery, with banners borne aloft, 
players on the flute, kettle-drum, and trumpet ; beside 
them went their sons and nephews, all in tourney 
dress. Valencia had furnished her embassy with one 
hundred and fifty flambeaux, each weighing twelve 
pounds, painted green, and bearing the royal escutcheon. 
From the day of their arrival until that of their de- 
parture, the good knight and his fellows kept open 
house for all who cared to partake of their generous 
hospitality, while for the Court jongleurs there were 
princely gifts of garments of cloth of gold. To these 
fortunate persons, besides, the newly made knights, 
to the number of two hundred and fifty-six, gave the 
surcoats of cloth of gold and green velvet in which they 
had received the accolade, donning in their stead, over 
robes of red stuff, mantles of green velvet furred with 
ermine. The procession of the new knights to the 
Aljaferia, whence they were to escort their sovereign to 
La Seo, was only exceeded by that of the King himself 
in pomp and glory of display. Mounted on superb 
horses, each preceded by a son or brother, on horseback, 
who bore the new knight's sword, and followed by a 
near kinsman, bearing his arms, all around them the 


air trembled with the sound of trumpets, flutes, cymbals, 
and drums. In the streets, dancers, jongleurs, and 
itinerant players, disguised as savages, made merry 
while the procession passed. It was but the prelude to 
the greater event of the Coronation. On Easter Eve, 
the King and his people, laying aside all mourning for 
the late monarch, prepared to celebrate the crowning 
of his successor. To the details of that gorgeous spectacle 
Muntaner devotes many pages of his piquant Chronicle. 
Through his eyes, we watch once more the lonely 
central figure of the procession passing from his palace 
to La Seo, there to receive his crown, itself a jewel fit 
for fairy-tale or fable " all of gold, set with precious 
stones, rubies, balases, sapphires, turquoises, emeralds, 
and pearls as big as pigeons' eggs ; sixteen carbuncles 
in the front ; the whole, with fourteen fleurets, valued 
at 50,000 of Barcelona currency." The sceptre was no 
less a thing of beauty, three pans in length, tipped with 
a ruby, " the finest ever seen," as large as a hen's egg. 
The orb of gold was surmounted by a golden flower 
set with precious stones, and a cross, also richly jewelled, 
above it. After the Coronation, the King returned to 
the Aljaferia through crowds of his acclaiming subjects, 
the streets lit with thousands of torches, and clamorous 
with music-making. At the feast which followed the 
return to the Palace, the King's eldest son, Don Pedro, 
acted as majordomo, his younger brother, Don Ramon 
Berenger, being cupbearer, the offices of carver and 
waiters being filled by other notable personages. With 
each course, fresh dancers and gleemen appeared before 
the King, who presented to each, in turn, the surcoat and 
mantle of cloth of gold bordered with ermine and 
embroidered with pearls, which he assumed at intervals 
throughout the banquet. As many as ten sets of gar- 
ments were thus bestowed upon the performers. 

This graceful and costly method of recompensing 
the jongleur was in vogue throughout Europe in his 


Robe de vair et erminettes, 
De conin et de violettes, 
D'escarlate, de draps de soie, 

were the customary rewards of his art. A young gentle- 
man of rank is advised 

Comme tu vendras en hautz lieux, 
Aux heraux et aux menestreux, 
Ou qui vendront ou tu seras, 
Dons convenables leurs feras, 
De robes d'or ou de monnaie. 

We read, in romances of the period, of mantles 
heaped at the feet of the popular entertainer by the 
guests whom he has delighted with his performance. 
A writer of the times of Philip-Augustus speaks, with 
undisguised contempt, of " princes, who, after having 
spent twenty or thirty marks on garments which were 
veritable works of art, marvellously embroidered with 
flowers, give them away, a week later, to some jong- 
leurs, those ministers of the devil, as soon as they open 
their mouths/' At other Courts, the tale is repeated ; 
royal guests, on their arrival at the banquet, remove 
their mantles, which are immediately bestowed upon 
the jongleurs present ; more than seven thousand, it is 
said, were thus bestowed at the marriage of Beatrice 
d'Este and Galeozzo of Milan. 

At the conclusion of the repast, a jongleur named 
Romaset recited before the King and his guests a 
sirvente composed by Don Pedro in honour of the 
occasion, being followed by Don Novellet, another 
jongleur, who recited seven hundred rhymed verses, 
another composition of the Infante. 


Although the succession to his throne was fully 
secured, political prudence counselled Alfonso to con- 
tract a second marriage with a Princess to whom his 
House owed some show of reparation for an old affront. 
To his own and his children's great misfortune, the 


widower King was married at Tarragona, in February, 
1329, to Dona Leonor, once the betrothed bride of his 
elder brother, Don Jaime, sister of the King of Castile. 
Her influence was to prove disastrous, alike for the 
political and domestic sphere of Alfonso's reign. 

There was, however, little of foreboding, unless in 
the hearts of his children and in those of a few, Castilian 
as well as Aragonese, who knew the temper of the 
bride-elect, in the splendid ceremonies attendant upon 
the arrival upon the soil of Aragon,, for the second 
time, of one who had endured the humiliation of being 
sent back from the marriage-altar itself to her own 
people, a repudiated and insulted bride. Child though 
she was, the insult had never been forgotten or forgiven. 
In her recall to the destiny of which she had once been 
cheated, she saw neither recompense nor reparation. 
It would seem, indeed, as though her conduct towards 
her stepson, Don Pedro, was dictated by the smart of 
her ever-rankling, ancient wrong, which the pressure of 
the crown relenting fate had at length set upon her 
brow was powerless to eradicate from her vindictive 
memory. If we seek for some loophole of excuse for 
the character of the second wife of Alfonso IV, may we 
not find it, besides, in the fact that she was very early 
deprived of a mother's tender care and guidance ? 
She was still a very little child, her brother, afterwards 
Alfonso of Castile, a baby of two years of age, when 
their mother, Constance, widow of Ferdinand of Castile, 
and daughter of St. Isabel of Portugal, died of a broken 
heart at Sahagun, in great grief and sorrow at her son, 
then King, by the death of his father, being taken from 
her and committed to the tutelage of his grandmother, 
Maria de Molina, and the Infantes Pedro and Juan. 
So poor was the unhappy Queen at the moment of her 
death, that her jewels and other effects, which were 
sold for the purpose, were not enough to pay her debts. 
No happy memories mingled, therefore, with that 
regal cortege which, headed by the King and Queen of 
Castile, Alfonso and Maria of Portugal, escorted their 


sister to Tarragona in the early days of February, 1329. 
At Calahorra, the bridal train had been met by the 
Archbishop of Zaragoza, Don Pedro de Luna, the 
bearer of " many precious gifts, jewels, and other 
adornments/' from the King. After the marriage, the 
royal couple lodged, we are told, at the Monastery of 
the Friars Minor, where, a few days later, a marriage 
was agreed upon between Dona Blanca, cousin of the 
Queen of Castile and kinswoman of the King of Aragon, 
and the Infante Don Pedro, heir to the throne of Por- 
tugal. The betrothed bride returned with the Queen 
of Castile, en route for her future home. 

The stern business jpf war, ever^ sentinel on the very 
bridal thresholds of theT K^^ncf Q]ie_ens_oLAragon, 
filled the greater part of the^nrsTyear of Don Alfonso's 
and Dona Leonor's wedded life ; a campaign against 
the King of Granada, rebellion in Sardinia, hostilities 
between Genoese and Catalans. In the closing days of 
December, 1329, the Queen gave birth, at Valencia, to 
her eldest son, Don Fernando. This event in the Royal 
Family was followed, in the month of April, by signal 
victories of the allied Castilian and Aragonese forces 
over those of the Moorish King. With the birth of her 
own child, Dona Leonor seems to have thrown aside the 
mask which, until then, had veiled her secret attitude 
towards her eldest stepson. Thenceforward the Court 
was a seething-pot of machinations and intrigues 
fomented by the Queen's jealousy and hatred of the 
boy who stood between her son and a throne. The 
King, whose failing health, undermined by his stay in 
Sardinia, deepened the cloud of melancholy which 
crept over him in the latter part of his life, was a mere 
puppet in the hands of his imperious and unscrupulous 
Queen, herself as completely governed by Dona Sancha 
de Carrillo, wife of a certain Don Sancho Sanchez de 
Velasco, confidential servant in the employ of Dona 
Leonor's father, King Ferdinand, and who had suc- 
ceeded Dona Violante of Greece as governess to the 
Castilian Princess, whom she had accompanied to Aragon 


on her marriage. This busybody and mischief-maker, 
as Zurita aptly styles her, was the evil genius of Dona 
Leonoras life ; ever at her royal mistress's side to instil 
into her too-receptive mind deeper and darker hatred 
of the stepson who stood between her own son and a 
throne. Happily for himself, the thirteen-year-old boy, 
who already gave proof of the shrewd sense and in- 
flexible will which were to characterize him in after-life, 
was more than a match for a weak father, a vindictive 
stepmother, and a malicious and secret enemy. Not 
without fearless protest was he compelled to stand by 
and see the richest fiefs of the crown alienated from his 
inheritance and bestowed, together with the highest 
titles, upon his two half-brothers, Don Fernando and 
Don Juan. Tortosa, indeed, which had been assigned as 
Marquisate to the elder of Dona Leonor 's sons, vigor- 
ously refused to be thus torn from its ancient attach- 
ment, but the citizens were forced, by bribe and threat, 
to submit to their unwilling allegiance. City after city, 
thereafter, was added to the inheritance which Dona 
Leonor wrested from her husband for her son. Only 
Ot de Moncada, mindful of the spiritual tie which had 
bound him to the young Don Pedro at the font, could not 
be prevailed upon to swerve from his devotion and 
loyalty to the royal lad. More donations of cities 
filched from the royal patrimony at Dona Leonor 's 
insatiable demand gave insolent proof of her power 
over her puppet lord. Valencia, exasperated, flew to 
arms, the whole realm, thereupon, showing itself dis- 
posed to follow the example. The King, plainly advised 
that, unless the donations made to Don Fernando were 
immediately revoked, none could answer for the safety of 
the Royal Family, found himself forced to yield to the 
will of his people, throwing all the blame of his unpopular 
actions upon the Queen. " Had suqh seditious fellows 
been subjects of my brother, the King of Castile," cried 
the furious Dona Leonor, while the armed mob growled 
and thundered at the Palace gates, " he would have 
ordered their instant execution ! }> " Queen/' was the 


King's reply as recorded in the Chronicle of his son, 
Don Pedro " ours is a free people, and not in such 
subjection as that of Castile ; for our subjects hold us 
in reverence, as their lord ; while we, for our part, 
count them our worthy vassals and good comrades/' 
And so saying, Don Pedro signed the decree of re- 
vocation. It was the signal for the Queen's merciless 
vengeance to fall upon all who had ranged themselves 
upon the side of justice and her stepson. One by one, 
all who stood high in the King's favour, or were known 
to be devoted to Don Pedro, were banished from the 
Court. The list was a lengthy one, comprising Don 
Miguel de Gurrea, the Prince's tutor, who exercised, 
in his name, the office of Governor- General of the 
kingdom, his brother, Don Ximeno de Gurrea, Abbot 
of Montearagon, " Mossen " Miguel Perez Zapata, " the 
good and valorous knight," Garcia de Loriz (specially 
odious in the Queen's eyes as having been majordomo 
to Dona Teresa de Entenza), and the King's secretary, 
Lope de Concut, for whom the darkest fate of all was 
reserved. By travesty of justice, these loyal servants 
of the crown were declared guilty of high treason, and 
summoned to appear before the King to answer the 
serious charge. Behind their subjugated sovereign, 
however, these innocent criminals discerned the hand 
of his vengeful consort, and accordingly turned a deaf 
ear to the summons. Lope de Concut, protected by 
the King's express assurance that he had nothing to 
fear, deemed himself safe at a distance from the Court 
in a little hamlet near Teruel ; but pursued into exile 
by the implacable hate of the Queen, he was dragged to 
trial at Valencia, " to please the Queen " and deserted 
by the royal master whom he had always served with 
loyal faith, he was put to death on the absurd charge of 
having bewitched the Queen, so that she could not bear 

Don Pedro's position at Court, where he could no 
longer look upon the faces of those who were ready to 
lay down their lives for him, but was surrounded by 


creatures of his stepmother's will, prepared to do her 
darkest bidding, was a perilous one. The danger of 
which the brave boy was unconscious, or which perhaps 
he laughed to scorn, grew to be a very vivid and ever- 
present reality to those who stood nearest to him 
outside the undependable defences of his blood relations. 
Thus it was that, taking counsel with the Archbishop 
of Zaragoza, Don Pedro de Luna, his sometime guardian 
during the absence of his parents in Sardinia, the de 
Gurreas, Zapata, and Garcia de Loriz obtained that 
prelate's permission to remove the Prince from his 
father's Court to the mountains of Jaca, where he would 
be in safety, amongst friends, and whence it would be 
easy to convey him, should need arise, into France. 
The hurried journey was happily accomplished, but the 
Prince's sojourn at Jaca was brief. He emerged from 
his retirement to take up the reins of government 
which were fast slipping from his father's weakening 
hold. The eyes of the nation turned, as if with one 
consent, away from that pitiable and humiliating 
spectacle in the Palace of Barcelona, of a dying sovereign 
who might, had his health permitted, been the equal of 
Jaime the Conqueror, captive, soul and body, of his 
wife's caprice and cruelty, to take comfort in the 
thought that there stood ready to assume his kingship 
a strong man, though still a stripling. Meanwhile, 
Don Pedro, emancipated from tutelage, was Governor- 
General of the kingdom in more than name. Men felt 
that his grip upon the sword of State was already no 
weakling's. Offenders against the law, no matter what 
their rank, trembled before the sharpness of that sword, 
as they had never trembled before his father. One 
solemn act of justice, which the memory of Lope de 
Concut demanded of the future sovereign of Aragon, in 
whose cause he had virtually laid down his life, was the 
banishment of Dona Sancha de Carrillo from the Court 
and kingdom in which she had worked so much havoc. 
Backed by the will of the people, such a decree was 
executed as soon as made. There was none to say it 


nay. Escorted by Don Ramon de Cornel, Dona Sancha 
passed, with all the burden of her evil instigations dark 
and heavy upon her, from the stage upon which she had 
played so sinister a role. She was followed on her 
journey by the execrations of a howling mob. Vengeful 
cries of " Away with the wicked old woman ! Away 
with her ! Let her not dare to enter Zaragoza ! " met 
her at the gates of the Cathedral-city. The mistress 
whose worst friend she had proved herself was not long 
in following her evil genius back to Castile. Assured 
by the attendant physicians, that there was no hope 
of the King's recovery, the Queen's one thought was 
to secure her own and her children's safety. She knew 
best how much she and they had to fear from Don 
Alfonso's successor. Her first concern was to give 
orders for the castles of Verdejo and Somet, on the 
Castilian frontier, to be given up to agents of the King 
of Castile, in order that she and her sons might have 
a place of impregnable refuge at the moment of her 
imminent widowhood. But the vigilance of her stepson 
frustrated this, as he had frustrated all her machina- 
tions against him. There remained for the defeated 
and disappointed Queen but one way of escape from the 
hated stepson who had baffled and beaten her all along 
the line. There was no time for hesitation. In the 
early dawn of January 14, 1336, while memories of the 
wife of his youth, the noble and loving Teresa de 
Entenza, flitted through the clouding brain of the dying 
King, the wife who had wrought such ill to his house 
and kingdom, unmindful of the lonely man who had 
great need of a tender touch on his closing eyelids, a 
tender clasp of his clammy hand, fled, with a great 
train of sumpter-mules laden with jewels, plate, and 
money, along the road to Castile, eluding the spies of 
the new King, who sought to overtake her. Like her 
duenna of hated memory, she had done with Aragon 
for ever. She was indeed to stretch from her place of 
refuge in her native land grasping hands towards the 
inheritance which she persisted in claiming for her 


sons, but her plea fell on politely unheeding ears, and 
drew forth but ambiguous and unsatisfying response 
from one who was from first to last a master of state- 

Driven by unconquerable ambition and injudicious 
maternal passion, the widowed Queen, from the moment 
of her return to Castile, entered upon a path of fatality 
along which she was to drag to ultimate ruin and violent 
death all who were most closely connected with her. 
It was her misfortune that the throne of Castile should 
have been occupied, at the moment of her return, by 
that prince of bloodthirsty monsters, Pedro the Cruel. 
She was present at his marriage with the ill-fated and 
beautiful Blanche de Bourbon, riding in the wedding 
procession on a white mule, robed in regal robes of 
cloth of gold, little dreaming of the day when she was 
to share the fate of that unhappy bride. A few short 
years of restless intrigues and unceasing endeavours to 
win at all costs temporal aggrandizement for her sons, 
and both mother and sons had fallen victims to their 
kinsman's insatiable thirst for blood. It was while she 
was residing at the castle of Roa, together with her 
daughter-in-law, Isabel Nunez de Lara, wife of her 
younger son, Don Juan, both in ignorance of the murder 
of the latter at Bilbao by Don Pedro's orders, that 
Dona Leonor was removed, in the custody of Don Juan 
Fernandez de Hinestrosa, to the Castle of Castro 
Xeriz, where, in 1359, she was put to death by Moorish 
slaves, no Christian in all Castile being found willing to 
lift his hand against this daughter and wife of kings. 
Her ill-fated daughter-in-law, Dona Isabel, died a few 
weeks later, poisoned, it is said, by Don Pedro's orders. 
There can be little doubt that the murders of those 
unhappy ladies was the price paid by their executioner 
for alliance with Aragon, whose friendship had become 
necessary to him with the growing pretensions of 
Henry of Trastamare. But of the secret springs which 
actuated the tragedy, Pedro IV of Aragon gives no 
hint in his Chronicle, where he briefly records that 


" our stepmother, the Queen, Leonor, was put to death 
by Don Pedro of Castile." 


Marriage of Dona Teresa de Entenza and Don Alfonso of Aragon, 1312. 
Birth of their son, afterwards Pedro IV, at Balaguer, 1319. 
Dona Teresa sailed with her husband for Sardinia, 1322. 
Return of the Infante and his wife, 1324. 

Birth of the Infante Don Sancho and death of Dona Teresa, 1327. 
Don Alfonso marries Dona Leonor of Castile. Birth of their son, Don 
Fernando, 1329. A 

Death of King Alfonso; 1336. 
Dona Leonor murdered by order of Pedro the Cruel of Castile, 1359. 



DURING the lifetime of Alfonso IV, a marriage had been 
arranged between his eldest son, the Infante Pedro, 
afterwards to be known as Pedro the Ceremonious, and 
the Princess Juana, eldest daughter of Philip, King of 
Navarre, and his Queen, Jeanne d'Evreux. The alliance 
had been sought by the father of the proposed bride as 
a means of securing a powerful ally in his prolonged 
warfare with Castile touching their ancient quarrel 
concerning the definition of their boundaries. The 
Archbishop, Don Pedro de Luna, and Don Enrique, 
Lord of Gualiaco, Governor of Navarre, represented, 
respectively, the House of Aragon and that of Navarre, 
in the marriage negotiations, which were concluded at 
Daroca, where the King of Aragon was then residing, 
on January 23, 1334, with the customary exchange of 
castles and hostages for the fulfilment of the bridal 
contract, the dowry of the Princess being 100,000 
sanchetes (money of Navarre, equal in value to 
limes tournois). Three years later, Don Pedro having 
succeeded his father as Pedro IV, it was proposed that 
an exchange of brides should take place, the Infanta 
Maria, younger sister of the Princess Juana, who was 
nearer in age to the King, superseding the latter as 
Queen of Aragon. By the new contract, necessitated 
by this change of front on the part of Don Pedro, it 
was stipulated that, in the event of the failure of heirs 
male to the throne of Navarre, the succession should 
pass, not to the elder, but to the younger daughter. 
The Princess Juana afterwards embraced the religious 
life in the Franciscan Convent of Longchamps. 

M 177 


The first marriage of Pedro IV of Aragon was solemnized 
by proxy, at the Castle of Aneto, where the King and 
Queen of Navarre were then in residence, October 17, 
1337. The bride's dowry was 70,000 sanchetes, and 
150,000 Barcelonese sueldos for her household expenses, 
the towns of Tarragona, Jaca, and Teruel being con- 
veyed to her as arras. Her representatives received 
from the authorities of Jaca, in 1339, their solemn oath 
to recognize Dona Maria as their Lady throughout her 
life, and to pay to her duly the revenue secured to her 
by the King on the said town. The quaint ceremony 
was gone through of the two proxies putting their two 
hands into each other's, and " instead of and in the 
person of the Queen kissing each other with their own 
mouths." The bride had not yet attained the age of 
twelve years at the time of her betrothal. It had been 
arranged that the marriage should be solemnized on the 
Feast of the Trinity in the year following, but the King 
of Navarre, when the time came, found himself de- 
tained by the war between France and England. In 
June, accompanied by her uncle, Philip, Bishop of 
Chalons, and other notables, the Princess set out for 
Aragon, but was taken ill at Alagon, where the King 
hastened to visit her. There, the marriage was cele- 
brated on St. James's Day, the bridal pair proceeding 
immediately to Zaragoza, where Dona Maria was re- 
ceived with all the traditional rejoicings. 

In the following year, with equal ceremony, Barce- 
lona offered its loyal welcome to the young Queen, 
whose entry into the city, under a canopy of gold brocade, 
coincided with the Translation of the relics of St. 
Eulalia. A gift of plate six tall dishes of silver-gilt, 
enamelled, two silver basins, two silver pitchers, and 
one gilt cup was presented by the citizens, the Countess 
of Ampurias, wife of the Infante Don Ramon Berenger, 
receiving at the same time a handsome cup. From 
Barcelona the Court removed to Lerida, where the 
marriage was solemnized of the Infanta Dona Violante, 
the King's aunt, widow of the Despot of Romania, 


with her second husband, Don Lope de Luna. For this 
notable occasion, there were great purchases of cendal, 
brocade, camlet, and " filigranes " of every hue, veils, 
pearls, " with an emerald," for the Countess of Am- 
purias and for Dona Elisen Sacort, the Infanta's nurse, 
and others in the royal entourage. The period was that 
when the King was already shaping, in that fastidious 
and secretive mind which was concerned equally with 
statecraft and sumptuary laws, the Eoyal Ordinances 
which have won for him the title of the Ceremonious. 

With the wife of his youth, whom Pedro IV dismisses 
from the pages of his Chronicle with curt praise of her 
saintliness and goodness of life, the Ceremonious King 
had doubtless little in common. She was a docile 
partner and a pious woman. For nine years, indeed, 
she disappointed her lord by presenting him with 
daughters only. But when at length she gave him the 
long-desired son a " guest who tarried but a day " 
she paid with her own life for her ultimate failure. It 
was, possibly, somewhat against her will that she was 
imperiously summoned by her consort to keep the 
Christmas of 1345 at Perpignan in the Chateau of the 
Kings of Majorca, whose kingdom had been brutally 
snatched from the last sovereign, the luckless Jaime II, 
by his treacherous kinsman, King Pedro. It may well 
have been repugnant to his Queen to hold her Court 
where Esclarmonde de Foix and Sancha of Anjou had 
queened it before her ; but her part was to submit, no 
less than the citizens of Perpignan had submitted, to 
the rule of their new master. He who was, as Zurita 
reminds us, Ceremonious by nature, knew well how to 
appeal to the passion of his new subjects for display 
and merry-making. It was with great pomp, the same 
authority assures us, that he entered the city, sur- 
rounded by all his Court, and wearing all his royal 
insignia, still further to impress the crowd who, gazing 
on such splendours, forgot their dispossessed and exiled 
sovereigns of yesterday. The rain, we are told, some- 
what damped their ardour, and the procession, in which 


the King rode with the chief consuls and nobles of the 
city holding his horse's reins as was the custom, returned 
in haste to the Chateau. For the reception of the Queen 
and her two daughters, the Infantas Constanza and 
Juana, the latter of whom had been born at Barcelona, 
November 7, 1344, a special entertainment was arranged, 
in which the town's joglars and dancers greatly dis- 
tinguished themselves. After Vespers, the merry 
company repaired to the Chateau, where they gave an 
exhibition of their skill in the courtyard. With character- 
istic diplomacy, the King himself went down and 
mingled with the performers, to the delirious delight of 
the populace. At the conclusion of the entertainment, 
wines and sweetmeats were served, by the royal com- 
mand, and " then all went home to bed/' 

The life of the Queen of Aragon in that ancient 
stronghold of kings which so perfectly represented the 
civil, the military, and the religious aspect of their lives, 
differed but little, we may suppose, from that of those 
Queens who had preceded her within its massive walls. 
Like them, Queen Maria would have at her command, as 
at Barcelona, her majordomo, her lords and esquires-in- 
waiting, her almoner and sub-almoner, besides her train 
of ladies, with whom she would walk, when summer 
came, in the cool of the evenings, in the " Verger " an 
enclosure attached to the Chateau full of fruit trees 
and shady bowers. Or the ladies would troop to the 
royal menagerie, to see the lions kept there, in charge of 
one or other of the family of Domenech, who had held 
the office for centuries ; or visit the parrot's chamber, 
where the birds were kept for the amusement of the 
Court. On wet days, there were chess, and dice, and 
dancing ; often the minstrels and dancers would be 
summoned to give a concert in the Queen's apartments. 
Flourish of trumpets would summon the Royal Family to 
dinners for which Perpignan proved an over-flowing 
larder. Rabbit and venison were regularly despatched 
by couriers from the city to Barcelona, when the Court 
was in residence there, while abundance of fish 


sturgeon, mackerel, dab, lamprey, tunny, mullet, and 
dog-fish made the keeping of fast-days an epicurean 
festival. The people must be kept in good humour, so 
there were jousts and tourneys, with all the outward 
glories of chivalry, nodding plumes, and fluttering 
pennons, and emblazoned armour, for their delighting. 
And yet, amid all the shifting of colour and song, 
there was a moment when tragedy stalked very close to 
Queen Maria and her little daughters. But for a plot to 
enter the Chateau with false keys, and to seize and put 
to death the entire Royal Family, being frustrated, their 
sojourn at Perpignan might have ended with terrible 
swiftness. In the two succeeding years, it is probable 
that the Queen revisited Perpignan more than once, 
but of those visits we have no record. 

It was not until 1347, when the dissensions between 
the King, his brother, the Infante Don Jaime, and the 
Cortes, were still raging around the vexed question of 
the succession to the throne claimed by the Bang for 
the Infanta Constanza, his eldest daughter, and opposed 
by her uncle and the Cortes, basing their opposition 
upon the will of Queen Petronilla, which had, as we 
have seen, debarred women from ascending the throne 
of Aragon it was at this moment, when solution had 
never been more imperatively needful, that, to the 
great joy of the King and his people, the Queen at 
length gave birth to the long-desired heir to his father's 
throne, the child immediately receiving the name of 
Pedro. The joy which had greeted his advent was, 
however, of cruelly brief duration, his little life lasting 
but one day. Five days later, he was followed to the 
grave by the mother who had given her life in vain to 
bring peace to her husband's distracted kingdom. 
Zurita thus records her virtues : ' ' This Queen was a 
most excellent Princess, and a devout servant of God." 
She was buried in the Monastery of. San Vicente, in the 
city of Valencia, contrary to her express desire to be 
interred at Poblet, leaving her rights to the throne of 


Navarre to the son whom she was about to bring into 
the world, had he survived her, and failing her son, to 
her daughters. These Infantas were three in number 
Dona Constanza, Dona Juana, and Dona Maria, who 
died young. 

Within a year, the King, still confronted with the 
problem of the succession, was a suitor for the hand of 
}he Infanta Leonor, daughter of Alfonso and Beatrix, 
King and Queen of Portugal. Prior negotiations had 
been pending for the marriage of the Princess with Don 
Fernando, brother of the King of Castile, who promptly 
lodged a protest against the " dishonest " conduct of 
the Portuguese sovereign. Powerful family influences, 
however, were on the side of the King of Aragon at the 
Portuguese Court the Infante Don Juan Manuel, his 
daughter, the Infanta Constanza, wife of the Infante 
Don Pedro of Portugal, Dona Maria Ximenez Cornel, 
sister of Don Ximeno Cornel, Countess of Brazelos, 
wife of the Count Don Pedro of Portugal, son of King 
'Dionysius and the Infanta St. Isabel, daughter of Pedro 
III of Aragon and Constance of Sicily. The marriage 
was also favoured by most of the nobles of Portugal. 
The envoys of Don Pedro were, therefore, assured 
beforehand of the welcome which awaited them at 
Santarem, where they were received, June 4, 1347, by 
the King and Queen of Portugal and by their daughter- 
in-law, Dona Constanza. The question of the dowry 
threatened, however, to break off the negotiations when 
they had hardly been entered upon. It was not the 
custom, argued the Portuguese Court officials, for the 
Princesses of Portugal to bring or to exact dowry on 
the occasion of their marriage. To this, the Aragonese 
ambassadors replied that no bride had ever been 
received into the Royal Family of Aragon without her 
dower. The King of Portugal thereupon suggested 
the sum of 2500 golden livres, the envoys requiring 
150,000, which the Portuguese monarch deemed ex- 
cessive. The envoys, unable to come to terms, were 
about to take their leave, when the Infanta Dona 


Constanza, who had set her heart, says Zurita, on the 
accomplishment of the marriage, intervened, and induced 
the King of Portugal to bestow upon his daughter a 
dowry of 37,000 of Barcelonese money, the Queen 
bringing up the total to 50,000. Thereupon, the 
marriage contract was duly signed, to the great dis- 
pleasure of the King of Castile and his brother, not 
merely, Zurita assures us, because of the honour done 
to the House of Aragon, but because of the great beauty, 

f3ntle disposition, and stately air of the Princess, 
hat the parents and future husband of the Infanta 
had good cause to suspect the designs of the Castilian 
Princes is shown by the fact that, "in order to avoid 
the danger which she might run, if she travelled by 
way of Castile, it was agreed that the journey to Barce- 
lona should be made by sea." In August, the King of 
Aragon received, at Monzon, the announcement that 
the Infanta, his betrothed, had started on her voyage. 
His uncles, the Infantes Don Pedro and Don Ramon 
Berenger, Hugo, Viscount of Cardona, Don Ramon 
Roger, Count of Pallars, the Admiral Don Pedro de 
Moncada, Don Pedro de Fenollet, Viscount of Ilia, 
Don Pedro de Queralte, and Don Ramon de Anglesola, 
received the royal commands to proceed to Barcelona, 
to receive the bride, and to attend her to the place 
selected for the celebration of the marriage. To his 
Chancellor, the Bishop of Vich, and to the Bishops of 
Tortosa, Lerida, and the Abbots of Ripoll and Santa 
Creus, as well as to the citizens of Catalonia, Roussillon, 
and Majorca, the King sent embassies, announcing the 
forthcoming festivities, and requesting them to send 
representatives to be his guests thereat. A tragic 
incident, however, interposed, to curtail all the customary 
rejoicings, an incident which, descending darkly, as 
it did, upon the very day of the bride's arrival at 
Barcelona, may well have seemed prophetic of the almost 
equally tragic fate which awaited the young Princess 
in Aragon. The Infante Don Jaime, long on bad terms 
with his brother, the King, who had excused himself 


from considering a petition presented by the former on 
the pretext that he was about to proceed to Barcelona 
for his marriage, died suddenly, not without grave 
suspicion of poison, though the King's own account of 
the matter was, that the Infante, passing through the 
streets of Barcelona to receive his brother, was tripped up 
by a rope on which an itinerant acrobat was performing, 1 
and falling heavily to the ground, received mortal 
injuries, from which he died a few days later, and was 
buried in the Church of the Friars Minor of Barcelona. 
' The disturbed state of the kingdom/' and not the 
mourning in the Royal Family, was given as the cause 
for the " poor show of rejoicing " over the King's second 
marriage. From the bridal chamber the King passed 
directly to conflict touching the Union with his subjects 
of Valencia, a conflict embittered by the mysterious 
death of the Infante Jaime, who had been so powerful 
a partisan of the insurgents, and which soon lit the 
flames of civil war in the kingdom. Peace was only 
restored by the King's reluctant consent to sign the 
Union, and this was immediately followed by the armed 
protest of certain cities of the kingdom against " the 
great dishonour and prejudice " done to the rest of the 
realm by the royal concessions to Valencia. The King 
and Queen and the whole of the Court being in residence 
at the Palace in Morviedro, the rebels closed the gates 
of the town, and kept the King and his household 
prisoners in the Palace. From Morviedro the Court was 
finally permitted to pass to Valencia, under armed 
escort, the reception offered to the Queen, we are told, 
being the most splendid ever offered to any Queen of 
Aragon on her first visit to the city. In the midst of 
the festivities, however, a quarrel between one of the 
royal household and the townsmen of Valencia, during 
the rehearsal of the dances and games which were to be 
performed on the following morning before the Palace, 
quickly assumed the proportions of a popular dmeute, 

1 It was an Aragonese, we remember, who at the Coronation of 
Edward VI " played pretty toys on a cable stretched across the street." 




the rioters' threatening attitude as they stormed the 
gates of the Palace and broke down the doors, which had 
been closed against them, striking terror into the 
hearts of the royal household. The apartments of the 
Palace were quickly filled with an infuriated mob, 
swarming from room to room, swords in hand, which 
they thrust into and under the beds, in their search for 
Don Bernardo de Cabrera, Don Berenger de Abella, 
and the other nobles of Roussillon, belonging to the 
royal household, who were particularly obnoxious to 
them. The King, issuing from his apartments to find 
the Palace in possession of the rioters, first took thought 
for the safety of the Queen, whom he confided to the 
care of Don Pedro de Moncada and Don Juan Fernandez 
de Heredia, Castellan of Amposta, and then proceeded, 
girt with his sword, to the staircase of the building, in 
spite of the advice of the two knights that he and the 
Queen should seek safety by instant and secret flight. 
With kingly courage, attended only by two ushers, a 
knight, a page, and his standard-bearer, Don Pedro, 
mace in hand, descended into the thick of the fray, his 
appearance turning the tide of the tumult as suddenly 
as it had burst forth. Loud cries of " Long live the King ! " 
resounded on all sides. A richly caparisoned horse was 
brought to the foot of the staircase, and the King, 
mounting, rode forth in triumph. By evening, tranquillity 
had been restored. The populace now insisted on the 
programme of dances, as previously arranged, being 
carried out before the Palace, the excitement reaching 
to such a pitch of enthusiasm that the King and Queen 
were forced, in response to the insistence of the crowd, 
to go down among the dancers and to take part in their 
rude merriment, a barber of the town, who was leader 
of the revels, placing himself between the royal pair, 
singing meanwhile a " cancion," the burden of which 
was as follows : " Evil be to him who parts us ! " 
Similar proceedings are recorded as having attended the 
marriage of the King of Majorca at Perpignan, although 
they can scarcely have been viewed with composure by 


the proud Portuguese Princess. Dona Leonor, however, 
did not live long enough to take her revenge, even if 
she had desired it. The Court remained in residence at 
Valencia until June, 1348, a period aptly characterized, 
together with its predecessor, by Don Jose Pella y 
Forgas, in his History of Ampurdan, as " apocalyptic 
years." The author in question, quoting from the 
manuscript records preserved in the Cathedral of Gerona, 
and also from the Chronicle of an anonymous monk of 
Ulla, tells us of the " signs and wonders " in heaven and 
earth which ushered in the terrible scourge of the Black 
Death, which, passing from Italy to Sicily, thence to 
Majorca, made its appearance in Spain in the spring of 
1348. Noxious vapours, issuing from cracks in the 
parched soil of Catalonia, poisoned, not only all vegeta- 
tion, but even birds on the wing. The river Ter, 
changing its normal character, flowed sluggishly and 
darkly, " like a river of death/' popular superstition 
accusing the Jews, as in certain towns of France, of 
having poisoned its waters. From the middle of May 
to the middle of June, no less than three hundred persons 
died daily in Valencia. Panic-stricken, the Court re- 
moved to Zaragoza, where the King had convoked the 
Cortes. The august assembly was now ordered to 
transfer itself to Teruel, which had so far escaped the 
plague. On the journey from Zaragoza, however, the 
Queen sickened, while two knights of the royal house- 
hold, Pardo de la Casta and Rodrigo Diaz, died after a 
few days' illness. In a futile attempt to save Dona 
Leonor 's life, she was removed from Teruel to Exerica, 
but the fatal disease carried her off in the latter city. 
Don Pedro at once proceeding to Segorbe, which was 
free from infection. Two-thirds of the whole population 
of Catalonia perished from the same epidemic which 
proved fatal to Dona Leonor, the mortality being such 
that, in some cases, legal documents had to be drawn 
up without the assistance of a notary, all such function- 
aries having fallen victims to the plague. Yet, terrible 
as was this visitation, and those of famine and earth- 


quake, which accompanied it, they were but mutterings 
of the storm which followed, slowly, indeed, but surely, 
in their wake, that of the great social upheaval which 
corresponded, in Spain, to the Peasant Revolt of the 
fourteenth-century in England, and which is known in 
Catalonian history as the war of the pagesos de remensa, 
or manumitted serfs. 


Of the four wives of Don Pedro IV, Dona Leonor of 
Sicily was probably the one who had the most influence 
over him, not even excepting Dona Sibilia de Forcia, 
the siren of his old age. She was a girl of spirit when, 
in June, 1349, the ambassadors of Aragon, Don Gal- 
ceran de Anglesola, Senor of Belpuig, and the King's 
majordomo, together with Lope de Gurrea, his chamber- 
lain, and Matheo Mercer, captain of the galleys of 
Don Pedro, presented their credentials at the Court of 
Dona Isabel of Carinthia, Queen-mother of Sicily, then 
in residence at Messina with her family, the young 
King Louis, and his sisters, the Infantes Leonor, 
Euphemia, Blanca, and Violante. The mission of the 
Aragonese envoys was the nattering one of the offer 
of the crown of Queen-consort of Aragon to Dona 
Leonor. Her acceptance was prompt ; but it was 
matched by that of the Sicilian faction of Count Matheo 
de Palici and the powerful family of the Claramontes, 
who immediately lodged a protest against the proposed 
alliance, unless the Princess first renounced, for her 
and for her heirs, all rights of succession to the throne 
of Sicily. It is evident that Dona Leonor did not 
yield without a struggle. To bring her to a better 
mind, she was lodged in the Convent of the Nuns Minoress 
of Messina, in the custody of the Abbess, her aunt, Dona 
Catalina. This high-handed action on the part of 
those who were the avowed enemies of Aragon only 
resulted in the immediate betrothal of Dona Leonor to its 


King, and her indignant protest against the treatment 
to which she had been subjected. On July 3, 1349, 
escorted by the ambassadors of Aragon, the Infanta 
set sail for Spain, where her marriage was celebrated 
in the city of Valencia, " with great solemnity and 
festivities/' The whole of the first year of her married 
life- was spent in Valencia. An expedition against 
Sicily, under the command of Don Bernardo de Cabrera, 
the King's favourite afterwards to come so tragically 
into conflict with his royal master's Sicilian bride 
followed fast upon the arrival of Dona Leonor in Aragon. 
The sustained revolt of the House of Oria in Sardinia 
against the suzerainty of Don Pedro kept that island 
possession of his crown in continual ferment. Tentative 
advances on the part of Philip of France seemed to 
promise well for the future friendship between the two 
countries in the early days of the coming of Dona 
Leonor. Like other stepmothers, more especially those 
of the House of Aragon, the young Queen was by no 
means reluctant to forward, by every means in her 
power, the marriages of her husband's daughters by his 
first marriage. Thus, her influence would almost cer- 
tainly have urged on the alliance proposed by Philip 
between his grandson, Charles, eldest son of Duke John 
of Normandy, and Dona Constanza, eldest daughter of 
the King of Aragon, a marriage which was, however, 
frustrated by the death of King Philip and the acces- 
sion of his son. Death was busy at the Courts of 
Europe in this year, 1350, when not only France, but 
Castile and Navarre, were bereft of their sovereigns. 
At Zaragoza, with almost royal splendour, the marriage 
was solemnized at Easter, of Don Bernaldino, son of 
Bernardo de Cabrera, and Dona Margarita, daughter 
of the Viscount of Castalbo, of thefillustrious House of 
de Luna, the King conferring upon the bridegroom as 
a marriage gift many rich fiefs in his dominions together 
with the title of Count of Osona. 

On St. John's Day, 1351, in the city of Perpignan, 
Dona Leonor gave birth to the ardently desired heir to 


the throne of Aragon, whose advent put an end to the 
unseemly dissensions which had raged around the vexed 
question of the succession. The Infante was baptized 
by the name of Juan, " in memory and devotion to the 
Feast on which he had been born " ; and on January 21 
following, the King conferred upon his infant heir the 
title of Duke of Gerona. A few days later, the important 
post of governor to the baby Prince was conferred 
upon Don Bernardo de Cabrera, " because in valour 
and prudence, and in all the natural gifts which such 
a charge required, this knight exceeded all others in the 
kingdom/' The King now summoned the grandees of 
Aragon to take the oath of allegiance to the little heir 
in the city of his birth, pointing out that it had been 
the custom from time immemorial in the kingdom of 
Majorca and in the Countships of Roussillon and 
Cerdana, for the heir-apparent to be thus acknowledged 
as such. Protest at once arose, however, from all the 
cities of the kingdom, Zaragoza leading the way, by 
taking its firm stand upon its ancient privilege of being 
the city where the oath in question had always been 
taken by the representatives of the other cities of the 
realm, whilst the Catalans, no less proud of their pre- 
rogatives, insisted that the ceremony should take place 
at Barcelona. In vain the King made his consort's 
health a laudable excuse for his unprecedented action, 
pointing out that she was not in a fit state to undertake 
the long and fatiguing journey to Zaragoza. But as 
usual, the will of the people triumphed, and, after con- 
sultation with his advisers, the King found himself 
compelled to take his Queen and their child first to 
Zaragoza, where the Aragonese duly took the oath, 
thence to Valencia, and lastly, to Barcelona, where the 
representatives of Roussillon, Sardinia, and Majorca, 
also complied with the customary formalities. 

From the security thus ensured to the succession, the 
King's thoughts were now free to turn to the question 
of the marriages of his two daughters by his first 
marriage, that of the Infanta Constanza, for whom he 


had at one time sought the crown of Aragon itself after 
his death, having, as we have seen, miscarried. There 
now remained only the hope of securing for her the crown 
of a Queen-consort. But the chance of such fortune 
seemed remote indeed. In 1351, moreover, she had seen 
her younger sister, the Infanta Juana's, name substi- 
tuted for her own in the marriage contract which was 
actually signed in that year at Barcelona, the bride thus 
affianced to the grandson of Philip the Fair being only 
seven years of age. It was not until four years later that 
the death of Louis, King of Sicily, and the accession of 
his younger brother, Fadrique, to the throne under the 
tutelage of his eldest sister, the Infanta Euphemia, 
suggested to the new sovereign's sister, the Queen of 
Don Pedro IV of Aragon, a possible crown for her 
elder stepdaughter. Papal permission was sought and 
obtained for the projected alliance, Berenger Carbonel, 
Dona Leonor's secretary, being a prime mover in the 
affair, and accompanying the envoys of Aragon to the 
Papal Court in quest of the necessary dispensation. 
The consummation of the marriage was to be delayed, 
however, for some years yet. Although the young 
bride and bridegroom exchanged their solemn marriage 
vows, by proxy, at Perpignan on September 21, 1356, 
events in Sicily had simultaneously taken such a turn 
that it seemed for a time as though the Infanta was 
once more to have a crown snatched from her grasp. 
Queen Juana of Naples and her husband by a curious 
irony, that very Louis of Anjou who had once been the 
designated bridegroom of Dona Constanza herself 
landed in Sicily under pretext of quelling a rebellion, 
entered Messina, where they made the Infantas Violante 
and Blanche, the King's sisters, their prisoners, and, 
proceeding to Messina, were received by the fickle 
populace with acclamations. The young King, driven 
back upon his loyal city of Catania, and heartened by 
the courage and devotion of Count Artal de Alagon, 
who was eventually to win back his kingdom for him, 
was compelled to postpone to an indefinite date the 


coming of his betrothed bride. It was not, indeed, until 
April 11, 1359, that the marriage was actually solemnized 
at Catania. From it sprang the heiress of Sicily, Dona 
Maria, who was destined to wear its crown, and to 
come within measurable distance of that of Aragon also. 
The birth of Dona Leonor's namesake daughter, who 
grew up to be a " most beautiful creature," as she 
is styled in her father's Chronicle, took place Feb- 
ruary 20, 1358, in the fortress of Santa Maria del Puig 
at Valencia. Her future husband, Don Juan of Castile, 
son of Don Enrique II, was born August 24 of the same 
year, at Epila. The autumn of that year also witnessed 
the marriage, while the Court was in residence at 
Barcelona, of the King's niece, Isabel, daughter of the 
King of Majorca, with Don Juan, Marquis of Montferrat, 
the bride's wedding gift from her uncle being 50,000 
florins, conditional on her cession of all her rights in the 
Kingdom of Majorca, the Countships of Cerdana and 
Roussillon, and the Lordship of Montpellier, which were 
hers in right of her father, the unhappy Jaime, King 
of Majorca. In return for Dona Isabel's surrender of 
these rights, Don Pedro provided her with a princely 
escort on her bridal journey, Francisco de Perellos 
being specially deputed to attend the King's niece. 
A month after the royal wedding, Don Pedro took the 
field against his neighbour of Castile, but his plans were 
seriously interfered with by the severity of the weather, 
and the heavy falls of snow, and he was compelled to 
pass Christmas at Almunia, which he only quitted to 
advance to the Castilian frontier, on January 22. With 
fire, and sword, and siege, the Aragonese armies con- 
tinued to harass the frontier towns of Castile for more 
than two months, until the state of affairs demanded the 
embassy from Rome of a Papal Legate, Cardinal Guido 
of Bologna, charged with the mission of making peace 
between the belligerents. It is possible that at this 
time of military activity on the part of the King, his 
consort had the companionship at her Court of one or 
more of her sisters. For one of them, Dona Blanca, 


she arranged a marriage, which took place five years 
later, with Don Juan, Count of Ampurias, son of the 
King's uncle, the Infante Don Ramon Berenger. The 
first Countess of Ampurias lived but a few years, and 
the match-making Queen was then able to effect a second 
marriage for the Count with her younger stepdaughter, 
the Infanta Juana, whose after-fate belongs to the 
reign of Dona Leonor 's successor, Sibilia de Forcia. 
There had been, apparently, some previous question 
of marrying the Princess Blanca to a French nobleman, 
as well as her sisters, Dona Euphemia and Dona Vio- 
lante, for in 1356 Francisco de Perellos, ambassador 
of Aragon at the Court of France, was charged to 
arrange such ' alliances, in addition to that which was 
the primary object of his mission, the betrothal of the 
Princess Jeanne de Valois, daughter of Philip of France, 
to Don Juan, Duke of Gerona. Only in the latter re- 
spect, however, did success crown the ambassador's 
efforts. The battle of Poitiers made shipwreck of 
yet another of Don Pedro's matrimonial projects, 
that of the marriage of his daughter, the Infanta Juana, 
and Louis, Comte d'Anjou, but the following year 
witnessed the departure of the Infanta Constanza for 
her Sicilian home. Dona Leonor had seen to it, before 
the bride's departure, that she had renounced all her 
rights to the succession of Navarre, inherited from her 
mother, to her stepbrother, Don Juan, Duke of Gerona. 
As a spectator, and yet, one may almost certainly 
believe, not without strong partisanship, Dona Leonor 
viewed from the Aljaferia or the Palace at Barcelona 
the progress of those events in the history of her hus- 
band's reign which occupied the whole of her life as 
Queen of Aragon. Those events were : " the long 
struggle with Castile ; the war against Peter the Cruel 
by land and by sea ; the alliance of Henry of Trasta- 
mara ; the support of France ; the intrigues with 
Navarre, and the three invasions of Spain by the bold- 
spirited pretender, who at length reigned as Henry II 
of Castile " ; events which belong no less to the separate 


history of Aragon than to that of Spain as a whole. 
It was from one of these events, " the intrigues with 
Navarre," that the dark shadow which rests upon the 
memory of Dona Leonor, her vindictive and relentless 
persecution of her husband's favourite and her son's 
governor, Don Bernardo de Cabrera, took its rise. 
History gives no clue to the origin of the enmity, which 
may possibly be assigned to a woman's unreasoning 
jealousy of his ascendency over her husband and her 
son. It was not until 1364, however, that the fatal 
opportunity presented itself for Dona Leonor to range 
herself openly on the side of Don Bernardo's avowed 
and dangerous enemies, the King of Navarre, the Count 
of Trastamare, and the Count of Ribagorza, who sus- 
pected Don Bernardo of a friendly attitude towards 
Castile which would, in the long run, prove disastrous 
to their own plans. The adhesion of the Queen was a 
most valuable asset for the conspirators, as through 
her they could hope to gain the ear of the King, whom 
it was necessary to convince of the disloyalty of his 
favourite. The plan of campaign was probably dis- 
cussed at Sos, the scene, in March, 1364, of the memor- 
able interview between the Kings of Aragon and Castile, 
in order to discuss the terms of a solemn pact of friend- 
ship, an interview at which we know Dona Leonor was 
present. From Sos the Court removed to Almudevar, 
where the Kings spent Holy Week. At dead of night, 
on Maundy Thursday, warning was conveyed to Don 
Bernardo by a friendly knight that his enemies had so 
far succeeded in traducing him to the King, that his 
very life was already in danger. The night passed in 
fear of assassination. At dawn, Don Bernardo sent word 
to the King's lodging, requesting an audience, but the 
answer behind which we can trace the influence of 
Dona Leonor- was returned that Don Pedro was indis- 
posed. The interview, however, was merely postponed. 
A later message summoned Don Bernardo to the royal 
presence, and there, at his master's knees, he implored 
the King to lend no credence to the accusations of his 


calumniators, but to believe in his loyalty at all times. 
This said, Don Bernardo kissed the royal hand, and 
withdrew. On Good Friday, as the two Kings were 
proceeding to church for the office of the day, the King 
of Navarre and the two Counts made a fresh accusation 
against Don Bernardo. This time, it was a charge of 
being privy to a plot against their lives. On the thres- 
hold of the church, the King sent word by one of his 
household, Guillen Doz, to Don Bernardo to appear 
immediately before him, in order that he might be 
confronted with his accusers. The messenger, however, 
excused himself, on the plea of indisposition, and his 
errand was thereupon passed on to a knight named 
Garcia Lopez de Sese. The latter returned to inform 
the King that the bird had flown. By command of the 
King, the gates of Carcastillo, where he sought to take 
refuge, were closed against him, and, in spite of his 
appeal to Don Pedro, dated, in moving language, from 
that town on Easter Eve, he was conveyed, under 
guard, to the Castle of Murillo. Beguiled by a safe con- 
duct on the part of the Bang of Navarre, the prisoner 
trusted to the good faith of the latter, only to be cruelly 
deceived. From the captivity of Murillo, he passed to 
that of No vales, whence he was taken to Barcelona, 
where he was cited to appear before the Queen, then 
acting as her husband's lieutenant during his absence on 
his wars. The charge of high treason which was brought 
against him was based on the flimsiest of proof, but it 
sufficed to bring him to the scaffold, for the Queen was 
set upon his destruction. By a refinement of cruelty, 
the young Duke of Gerona, in his capacity of Procurator- 
General of the Kingdom, was compelled to pronounce 
sentence of death on his former tutor and friend. It only 
remained for Dona Leonor to hurry on the execution with 
all speed, lest the return of the King might, even now, 
snatch her victim from her grasp. Her action was that 
of a woman perfectly mistress of herself, confident that 
it would not be called in question by a husband over 
whom her empire would henceforth be undisputed. 


Don Bernardo was executed at the Toledo gate of 
Barcelona, and interred the same day in the Monastery 
of the Friars Minor of the city. Eight years after, we 
find Dona Leonor, urged, as the historian tells us, by 
the pangs of conscience, exerting her influence with 
signal success, for the restoration to his father's honours 
and estates of the son of Don Bernardo. 

In the spring of 1367, Spain being at that time over- 
run by the bands of adventurers known as the Free 
Companies, Dona Leonor was travelling, not without 
some fear of encountering them, with her husband. It 
was necessary for the King to write a reassuring letter, 
however, before the Queen could be persuaded to com- 
mit herself to the perils of roads thus infested. The 
royal progress was, as usual, fatiguing in the extreme ; 
it was interrupted on September 21, at Pina, where 
Dona Leonor was seriously ill for several days. Vexa- 
tion of mind aggravated the ills of the body. Negotia- 
tions had begun for the marriage of her little daughter, 
Dona Leonor, with the heir to the throne of Castile, 
a marriage which she strenuously opposed, and which, 
indeed, was not concluded until after her death. This 
took place in 1374, at Barcelona, in the Palace near the 
House of the Templars. By her last will and testament, 
made June 12, she gave directions for her remains to 
be interred at Poblet, and named her son, the Infante 
Martin, as her universal legatee. She made bequests 
to her daughter-in-law, the Infanta Matha, wife of the 
Duke of Gerona, to the Infanta Juana, who was at once 
her stepdaughter and her brother-in-law's second wife, 
to her namesake niece, Dona Leonor, the daughter of 
her sister, Dona Blanca, of Sicily ; an annuity of 12,000 
sueldos being left to Don Juan de Peralta and his wife, 
Dona Leonor, her nephew and first cousin, as well as 
to Don Antonio and Don Luis de Aragon, the illegiti- 
mate sons of her brother, King Louis of Sicily, for whom 
she had found places in her household. 

The only portrait extant of the third wife of Don 
Pedro IV is that which appears upon her seal, made for 


her, by direction of the King, October 1, 1349, in a letter 
to Bernardo de Puig, keeper of the Queen's Seal. 
Framed in her escutcheons of Aragon and Sicily, the 
regal figure stands, in royal robes, wearing her consort's 
crown, her sceptre in the right hand and the orb in her 
left, a not unworthy presentment of one who was, " by 
the grace of God, Queen of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, 
Sardinia, and Countess of Barcelona, Eoussillon, and 


In 1375, the thrice- widowed King of Aragon received 
the flattering and urgent offer of the hand of the cele- 
brated Queen Joanna of Naples, who was so anxious to 
secure the alliance of Aragon that, in default of the 
father, she proposed the son, the Duke of Gerona, also 
newly bereft of a consort, as bridegroom. The proposal 
came too late. The elderly King was already in the 
toils of Sibilia de Forcia, the young, pleasure-loving, 
ambitious widow of a Don Artal de Forcia. It was an 
empire, as some have hinted, begun in the lifetime of 
Queen Leonor ; from the moment of her death, it was 
openly flaunted before the eyes of the Court, the King's 
subjects, and the Royal Family. Long before she had 
wrested from her infatuated royal lover the crown for 
which she had schemed by all the arts known to an 
unscrupulous and beautiful woman, she was virtual 
Queen of Aragon. Through her, and through her alone, 
might the highest or the lowest of Don Pedro's subjects 
hope to have their petitions granted. To have " Madama 
Sibilia " on his side was to be a lucky suitor. Thus we 
shall see the pure and noble wife and mother, Dona 
Matha d'Armagnac, making her suit, on her faithful 
servitor's behalf, to her father-in-law's mistress. It 
was not until October, 1377, the precise date being un- 
certain, that the marriage so ardently desired by Sibilia 


de Forcia actually took place. The State papers of the 
period are notably silent on the event, nor are we told 
of the usual summons to gentle and simple to attend 
the ceremony. To all intents and purposes, it was a 
private wedding. " La Keyna Forciana," as she is 
contemptuously styled, blossoms forth in all her new 
splendour, for the first time, in a document dated 
November 2, 1377, in which the King names her by 
the title of Queen. There is abundant evidence that the 
Royal Family held themselves strictly aloof, not only 
from the marriage ceremony, but from the Court of the 
new Queen. The King was compelled to threaten with 
dire penalties certain defaulting and obstinate ladies 
who refused to form her household. Thus, he " prays 
and commands " a certain Dona Constanza de Aragon, 
a kinswoman of the Royal House, to proceed immedi- 
ately to Court in order to attend upon the Queen. This 
lady was the wife of the famous Sir Hugh Calverley, 
who, with several more English knights of the Black 
Prince, " acquitted himself right nobly " at the Battle 
of Najera. The matrimonial differences which had 
arisen between Dona Constanza and her husband, 
causing the former to take refuge in the household of 
the Duke and Duchess of Montblanch, the King's son 
and daughter-in-law, seem to have suggested to Don 
Pedro the likelihood of a wife in such straits eagerly 
complying with his commands. But the sequel seems 
to show that neither by fear nor force was Dona Con- 
stanza to be induced to repair to Court. For the post 
that should have been a coveted one was next offered 
to another lady of the household of Maria de Luna, 
Dona Beneita Carroz, by whom it was also promptly 
declined. The difficulty of finding suitable companion- 
ship for Queen Sibilia was to be curiously solved. The 
education of the beautiful and overbearing Queen had 
been sadly neglected. She did not even know her 
alphabet ! In order to remove this blot from the 
scutcheon, the King appeals to the Prioress of Sigena. 
Taking this great lady into his confidence, as befitted 


one who enjoyed notable privileges, assisted at Cortes, 
royal audiences and alliances, he entreats her to send 
him two religious of her convent, " middle-aged, good 
nuns, decorous and discreet, to be with the Queen, to 
teach her to read, and to converse with her." Irony 
indeed that the Court of a young and pleasure-loving 
Queen should be composed of two staid, elderly, clois- 
tered duennas ! But we should be forming an estimate 
altogether wide of the mark if we supposed that the 
illiterate and frivolous Queen viewed the coming of the 
ladies from Sigena with any misgiving. The religious 
life of her day, if we are to believe the testimony of Friar 
Eximenez, imposed no vow of poverty, such as it has 
been interpreted by more austere generations of monks 
and nuns. The ladies upon whom the choice of the 
Prioress would fall would shed lustre rather than gloom 
upon the palace to which they were summoned. They 
would appear in rich robes, embroidered with gold and 
silver, bedecked with rings, rosaries of coral and amber, 
and richer jewels than any secular. They would come, 
these instructresses of a Queen, to dazzle Barcelona 
with their ostentation, stepping mincingly in their 

Jointed chapines, 1 their silken, gold -hemmed veils 
oating around them with shimmering grace, their 
waists clasped with girdles of pearls, their delicate 
linen and trailing garments redolent of odour of violet, 
musk, and orange-flower. In their hands, encased in 
jewelled gloves, they would carry their embroidered- 
covered books, or perhaps one of these little dogs which 
were frequent convent pets. The luxury of a Court 

1 The chapine was now much in fashion amongst women. This was a 
kind of clog or patten, the term, however, being sometimes applied to a 
sandal lined with leather. They seem to have been known in Spain con- 
siderably earlier than in England, where they were introduced from the 
Venetians, who in turn are said to have imported them from the East, 
which was probably the source of their adoption by mediaeval Spanish 
JlJgantes. Coryat describes the chapines which he saw in Venice as "so 
common that no woman whatsoever goeth without, either in her house or 
abroad ; it is a thing made of wood, and covered with leather of sundry 
colours, some with white, some with red, some yellow. Many of them 
are curiously painted ; some also of them I have seen fairly gilt. It is 
called a chapiney, which they wear under their shoes.' 3 


would be neither surprise nor snare to them, passing, 
as they would, from luxury to luxury, from cells which 
were sumptuously furnished with paintings, softly 
cushioned beds, and rich hangings, to apartments in 
a palace which would scarcely rival those they had left 

History is silent as to the progress of the royal pupil, 
whose mind was possibly frequently distracted by the 
rankling thought of the persistent aloofness of her 
husband's sons and daughters-in-law, as well as by 
the delay in the solemn ceremonies of her Coronation. 
She was to attain her desire in the first of these obstacles 
to her perfect pride in her exalted position by the 
notorious matrimonial suit of Brianda de Luna, sister 
of the wife of Don Martin, the King's second son, who 
for many years sought at the hands of the Church re- 
lease from her marriage with Don Lope Ximenes de 
Urrea, in order that she might become the wife of Don 
Luis Cornel. The high rank of the suitors, and the 
nearness of some of them to the throne, invested this 
fourteenth-century cause celebre with more than ordinary 
interest. The necessity for securing the royal protec- 
tion for Dona Brianda, who was his sister-in-law, com- 
pelled Don Martin to gratify his stepmother's vanity 
and salve her wounded pride, by doing, as his father 
exacted, tardy homage to Queen Sibilia. Although his 
elder brother was approached at the same time to the 
like end, and although he commended the action of his 
junior, having regard always to his desire to serve his 
sister-in-law, there seems to be small proof of Don Juan 
and Dona Matha ever having complied with the King's 
request that they should imitate the good example of 
Don Martin. It is to this determined attitude of Don 
Juan that we probably trace the bitter hatred of Queen 
Sibilia for her elder stepson. It was to Dona Brianda, 
again, with whose matrimonial affairs the Cortes con- 
voked at Zaragoza in 1380 were much concerned, that 
Queen Sibilia owed the opportunity to urge upon 
her subservient husband the matter of her Coronation. 


The splendour which marked this long-deferred 
realization of Sibilia de Forcia's highest ambition was 
equal, says Zurita, to that which characterized the 
accession of the King and the ceremonies of his first 
marriage. She was the second Queen of Aragon to be 
crowned, as related by Geronimo Blancas. The actual 
ceremonial of her stately progress through the brilliantly 
lighted and gaily decorated streets of Zaragoza, of her 
reception in the sacred fane of La Seo of the sacerdotal 
vestments, holy unction, and royal crown, differed, we 
may suppose, in no way from the order as observed on 
similar occasions in the lives of her sister- queens. At 
the banquet which followed, the King appears as 
troubadour, a coplas written by him in honour of his 
Queen being carried in the beak of the royal peacock 
which was brought in at the close of the repast, on a 
dish garnished with cloth of gold and silver, and accom- 
panied by knights and pages and many stringed instru- 
ments. '' To you, my brave Lady ! " runs the poet's 
tribune, " to you, on this day of your great honour, I 
sing, according to the worthy custom of the great 
Courts of England and France/' The King's own uncle 
as well as himself cultivated the " Arte de Trobar." 
Don Pedro IV was a generous patron of joglars, and to 
Pedro Cahac, " Master of a company of joglars," ap- 
parently in the permanent employment of the King, 
we find him granting a safe-conduct for the purposes of 
a journey into France. 

Sibilia de Forcia, now at the summit of her ambition, 
might well have been content to trust the sure hand of 
time to reconcile her stepsons to their father's marriage. 
But hers was not the nobility of soul which might have 
impelled her to play the role of an Elisenda de Moncada. 
She chose, rather, to adopt, to her own ultimate un- 
doing, that of Leonor of Castile, Queen of Alfonso IV. 
History was to repeat itself in the fatal part which 
Sibilia de Forcia took in the events of the closing years 
of her husband's reign. All that he had suffered in his 
boyhood at the hands of a stepmother, his son was to 


endure at those of his fourth wife. Utterly at the mercy 
of her caprices and her unreasoning hatreds, com- 
pletely subjugated by her beauty, Don Pedro joined 
hands with his consort in the persecution of his son and 
heir, a persecution provoked, there is little reason to 
doubt, by the stubborn refusal of the Duke and Duchess 
of Gerona, as we have seen, to bend the knee in homage 
before the new Queen. In this persecution, all who were 
loyal to the Duke were the enemies of the King and 
Queen. The fiercest attacks of the royal displeasure were 
directed against the Count of Ampurias, close kins- 
man of the Royal House, his first wife having been 
a sister of the King's third wife, Leonor of Sicily, and 
his second wife the King's own daughter, Juana, the 
only child of his first marriage. This noble gentleman, 
for no other crime than his devotion to the person of 
the Duke of Gerona, and his attendance at Don Juan's 
quiet wedding at Montpellier, drew down upon him- 
self the relentless enmity of Sibilia de Forcia, and, as a 
consequence, of his sovereign. The story of that enmity 
is that of the war in the Ampurdan, which grew out of 
the private quarrel between the Count and Bernardo 
Alemany de Orriols, a kinsman of Queen Sibilia's, 
thereby affording a pretext for the latter to induce her 
consort to order the intervention of the royal troops in 
the dispute. Taking their war into the enemy's camp, 
the royal pair journeyed, in the autumn of 1384, to 
Figueras, taking at the same time the precaution, 
when the Court removed to Peralada, to lodge outside 
the town, in a palace of the Rocaberti family. Here 
occurred a tragic incident. The Countess of Am- 
purias, braving her royal father's anger, ventured into 
his presence, and flinging herself at his knees, implored 
him to restore her husband to his lost favour. It needed 
but a word from her all-powerful stepmother for her 
pitiful petition to be granted. That word, as we know, 
was unspoken. The King's answer to the audacious 
plea was a box on the ears, given in the presence of the 
whole Court, from the effects of which the unhappy 


Infanta is said to have died. Shortly after, the incursion 
of bands of Gascons and Armagnacs, members of the 
famous Free Companies, then overrunning France and 
Spain, put King, Queen, and Court to flight, popular 
indignation assigning as the cause of this shameful 
retreat the witchcraft of the Queen. This was the first 
murmur of the storm which was to break a few years 
later on the head of the Ampurdanese, as she was 

The hand of Sibilia de Forcia, again, may be clearly 
discerned in the summary decree of banishment from 
the kingdom pronounced by Don Pedro against Dona 
Constanza de Perellos, the devoted friend and companion 
of the Duchess of Gerona and the governess of her 
children, the Bishop of Vich, the Viscounts of Ilia and 
Rocaberti, and Don Pedro de Artes, all guiltless of any 
crime whatsoever, save in being adherents of the heir 
to the throne and members of his household. That 
Dona Violante, indeed, recognized the hand of her 
husband's stepmother in the royal mandate is plain, if 
we are to judge from the spirited reply which she re- 
turned to it. Sooner than permit Dona Constanza to 
leave her service and company, wrote one who was more 
than a match for Sibilia de Forcia, to the King, she 
herself would quit the realm. And, as though to 
attach the lady in question more closely to her side, 
the Duchess proceeded to bestow her hand upon the 
widower Count of Ampurias, who had been the hus- 
band of the unhappy Infanta Juana, and son-in-law 
of the King. The malevolence of " La Reyna Forciana " 
was by no means diverted by such a check as this. On 
the contrary, she continued to instil, day by day, into 
her puppet husband's mind the poisonous thoughts 
against his son whereby she hoped to work Don Juan's 
ultimate ruin. Injury and insult were so heaped 
against the unoffending Duke and Duchess, that 
the former was at length compelled to place his cause 
in the hands of that all-powerful functionary, the 
Justiciary of Aragon, against whose mighty protection 


even the evil will of Sibilia de Forcia might not prevail. 
We shall read, indeed, in the history of Violante of Bar, 
of the last, cruel arrow which her inveterate enemy was 
able to wing against her, but it proved ineffectual, as 
all the rest had been. Sibilia de Forcia's own time of 
reckoning was at hand. No sooner had the Duke of 
Gerona been pronounced out of danger from the illness 
which seriously threatened his life a few weeks before his 
accession, than the aged Don Pedro's long reign came 
to an end on December 29, 1387, at Barcelona. The 
King was still in his death-agonies, when his Queen 
sought, as Leonor of Castile her model in this, as in 
so much else had sought before her, safety from the 
new order which she had good cause to fear. Accom- 
panied by her brother, Don Bernardo de Forcia, Berenger 
de Abella, Bartholome de Linos, the Count of Pallars, 
and a few faithful servants, she fled secretly from the 
Palace, creeping, as a fugitive, under cover of the night, 
from the scenes of her brief, imperious queenship. 
From his sick-bed, or rather, as it would seem, from 
his lingering convalescence, the new King, or, as is more 
likely, his consort, acted with vigour and decision. The 
Duke of Montblanch, Don Martin, younger brother of 
Don Juan, was ordered to proceed, with all possible 
speed, in pursuit of the fugitives, and to bring them 
promptly to justice. There was little doubt what their 
accusation would be. It was an accusation which, even 
without that preliminary murmur of the storm in the 
campaign of the Ampurdan, would have come very 
naturally to the mind of her royal accuser, preoccupied 
with and well versed in the occult arts ; one against 
which, in that age, not even a crown, or kinship with it, 
was proof. It was the age of Eleanor Cobham, Duchess 
of Gloucester, " arrested/' as we may read in English 
history, " of certain points of treason, and condemned to 
dwell as an outlaw in the Isle of Man, under the ward 
of Sir Thomas Stanley, Knight, and soon after were 
arrested as aiders and counsellors of the aforesaid 
Duchess Master Thomas Southwell, a Canon of St. 


Stephen's Chapel at Westminster, Master John Hun, a 
man expert in necromancy, and a woman named 
Margery Quatermaine, the Witch of Eye, beyond 
Winchester. These persons did devise an image of wax, 
like unto the King, the which image they dealt with so 
that by their devilish incantations and sorcery, they 
intended to bring out of life little by little the King's 
person as they little by little consumed the image." 
The crime of which Queen Sibilia was accused, and for 
which others of her fellow-criminals were to suffer the 
extreme penalty of the law, was, in fact, the practice 
of what is known, in all ages of the world's superstition, 
as sympathetic magic. " If it is wished to kill a person 
by this method," says Professor Frazer in his Golden 
Bough, " an image of him is made and then destroyed ; 
and it is believed that, through a certain physical 
sympathy between the person and his image, the man 
feels the injuries done to the image as if they had been 
done to his own body, and when it is destroyed he must 
simultaneously perish." In the horrible formula of 
mediaeval black magic, special efficacy was ascribed to 
wax mixed with some drops of the Holy Oils or a frag- 
ment of the consecrated Wafer, or, failing these, with 
the hair or nail-parings of the marked victim. In order 
to accelerate his death, the image was slowly melted 
before the fire, or pierced with needles. Enjxwtte- 
W&nt (the name given to this particular form of sor- 
cery) was a favourite method of getting rid of highly 
placed personages in the Middle Ages. " Spain," says 
Lea in his History of the Inquisition, " had been exposed 
to a peculiarly active infection of occultism. The 
fatalistic belief of the Saracens naturally predisposed 
them to the arts of divination ; they cultivated the 
occult sciences more zealously than any other race, 
and they were regarded throughout Europe as the most 
skilled teachers and practitioners of sorcery." A 
priest named Pepin, accused in the fourteenth century 
of enchanting the Bishop of Mende by the aid of a wax 
image, confessed at his trial that he had gained his 


knowledge of the practice from certain books which he 
found on his travels in Spain at Toledo and Cervera, 
the former city enjoying such an unenviable reputation 
in this connection that " the science of Toledo " was 
equivalent to the occult science. A handbook of magic 
arts written by the King of Majorca was specially 
quoted at the trial above-mentioned. 

The charge of witchcraft, then, was as inevitable as 
it was obvious in the case of Sibilia de Forcia. The 
new King's mysterious malady, the headaches from 
which he suffered, were now sufficiently accounted for. 
It was not the first time that he had suspected certain 
" wicked persons " of " making images of wood and 
copper in the shape of a man with a crown on his head " 
hence the headaches nor Don Juan the only one of 
the Royal Family to be seized with a panic. The Queen 
writes post-haste to the bailiff of Lerida bidding him 
send her without delay a certain book entitled Cigonina, 
written by the Bishop of Lerida, and treating of the 
means to defeat the spells of witches, of which she is in 
urgent need. For further safeguard, Dona Violante 
sends, with equal urgency, for two metgesses (female 
doctors, or, if the truth may be set down, witches), 
from Oriola and Monistrol, to be brought without 
delay to the royal invalid. 

Sibilia de Forcia, meanwhile, had been overtaken by 
the royal officers, and brought back to Barcelona, to 
meet the terrible charge formulated against her. It 
was, in point of fact, a twofold charge, that of working 
witchcraft against the persons of the late and the 
present sovereigns, her brother and other partisans 
being associated with her in the charge, and that, 
specially and separately alleged against the Queen, of 
having removed from the Palace prior to her flight 
certain valuables to which she had no legal claim. 
The result of the trial was a foregone conclusion. All 
those who had been unfortunate enough to share her 
flight were put to the torture, found guilty of con- 
spiring with the Queen to injure the late King, as well 


as to cast injurious spells over the new monarch, and 
condemned to death. It is said that she did not 
escape the rack; it is certain that she only saved 
her life by her terrified surrender to the King of all her 
possessions, Don Juan immediately conferring them 
upon his Queen, a pension of 25,000 sueldos only being 
settled upon Queen Sibilia, who was, moreover, granted 
the life of her brother, as well as the release of the 
Count of Pallars. She was, however, kept in such close 
and rigorous captivity that the Apostolic Legate, 
Cardinal de Luna, having visited her in her prison, 
interceded with the King on her behalf, and obtained 
from him such an exercise of royal clemency, " out of 
regard for the Legate and reverence for the Holy See," 
that her custody was committed to Berenger Barutell, 
her kinsman, in whose house outside the city she was 
permitted to take up her residence. To the lips of few 
of those who have drunk deep of the chalice of fortune 
has the cup of bitterness in turn been held in such 
overflowing measure as to those of Sibilia de Forcia. 
The height of her greatness was the measure of her 
abasement. That those whom she had pursued with all 
the relentless passion of a vindictive woman should have 
it in their power to strip her of all for which she had paid 
so heavy a price must have added gall to wormwood. 
That the woman from whom she had sought to tear 
child, friend, and faithful servants should, in the hour 
of her humiliation, be recompensed for all that she had 
made her suffer by the wealth which she had amassed 
by all the arts of which a clever and unscrupulous wife 
is capable, must have been the sharpest sting of that 
hour. Fear of torture and death removed, Sibilia de 
Forcia passed from her prison to virtual captivity in her 
kinsman's house ; thence, within a short time, she gladly 
turned to the comparative liberty of the cloister, in the 
Franciscan Convent of Barcelona. The tide of the new 
reign swept on, and left her forgotten. Music and merry- 
making, royal marriages and great events, beat, like 
waves of an ocean on which she had made tragic ship- 

DONA BLANCA OF ANJOU (from her effigy] 

DONA ELISENDA DE MONCADA (from her effigy) 


wreck, on the walls which hemmed her in. Some of the 
bitterness of those seven years of her life in the cloister 
was carved and concentrated by the sculptor of her 
marble effigy into the still, cold face of the dead Queen, 
the crown which surmounts those mournful features 
being the sole symbol of her royalty, for she has ex- 
changed her coronation robes for the austere habit of 
St. Francis. 

There is evidence that, before her death, on whose 
intercession or by what chain of circumstances is not 
clear, Sibilia de Forcia was granted apartments in the 
Palace where she had once reigned in arrogant pomp 
and beauty ; for we shall see the Queen, Violante, her 
successor, insisting, at the moment of the accession of 
Martin the Humane, when she was endeavouring to 
prolong her rule there by a fiction soon to be disproved, 
on the removal of Dona Sibilia from beneath the same 
roof. Sibilia de Forcia died November 24, 1407, having 
lived to see the accession of King Martin and the 
marriage of her own daughter, Dona Isabel, to James, 
last Count of Urgel, which took place at Barcelona on 
St. Peter's Day, 1407. 

Bernat Metge, prince of mediaeval satirists, never 
steeped his pen in more biting sarcasm than when he 
wrote of this Queen : " How often have I admired in 
her the handiwork of God, Who joined to a woman's 
body so valiant a soul ! " while he goes on to praise her 
" energy, constancy, and courage ! " 


Don Pedro of Aragon, afterwards Pedro IV, betrothed to Dona Juana 
of Navarre, 1334. 

Don Pedro marries her younger sister, Dona Maria, 1337. 

Dona Maria enters Barcelona, 1338. 

Birth of the Infanta Juana, 1344. 

The King and Queen hold their Court at Perpignan, 1345. 

Death of the Queen, after giving birth to a son, who only lived a day 

Second marriage of the King to Dona Leonor of Portugal. Her death 
from the plague, 1348. 


Third marriage of the King to Dona Leonor of Sicily, 1349. 

Birth of Don Juan, created Duke of Gerona, 1351. 

Betrothal of the King's daughter, Dona Constanza, to King Fadrique 
of Sicily, 1356. 

Birth of Dona Leonor, daughter of the King, 1358. 

Execution of Don Bernardo de Cabrera, by Queen Leonor'a orders, 

The Free Companies in Aragon, 1367. 

Death of Queen Leonor, 1374. 

Marriage of Don Pedro and Dona Sibilia de Forcia, 1377. 

Coronation of Dona Sibilia, 1380. 

Death of Don Pedro, 1387. 

Death of Dona Sibilia, 1407. 



FATE, which was to deal so hardly with the matri- 
monial destinies of the eldest son of Pedro the Cere- 
monious, gave early presage of its sinister intentions 
towards him. It was, says Zurita, " in order to put an 
end to a prolonged and terrible war " open, as well 
as secret, hostilities between Aragon and France having 
lasted for several years that King Pedro at length 
decided to seek, as so many of his dynasty had sought 
before him, a bride for his heir who should be angel and 
ambassadress of peace to her adopted country. The 
wily diplomat's choice could not have been bettered 
when it fell upon Jeanne de Valois, daughter of 
Philip VI of France and his second wife, Blanche, 
daughter of Philip d'Evreux, King of Navarre. There 
can be little doubt that, had not fate intervened, 
" Madama Juana de Francia," as she is styled in the 
annals of Aragon, would have ranked in those annals 
with Blanche of Anjou, the " Lady of Holy Peace." 
She was a princess, declare her contemporaries, " en- 
dowed, not only with remarkable beauty, but with 
many excellent virtues ; whilst in no other kingdom 
could such a bride have been found for the Duke of 
Gerona, whose equal she was, not only in age, but by 
birth." No hint of shadow fell across the pathway by 
which the ambassadors of the King of Aragon, Mossen 
Berenger de Abella, and Lope de Gurrea, that fidus 
Achates of the Royal Family, travelled to France on their 
high errand, the signing of the marriage contract. The 
Duke of Gerona, meanwhile, awaited the conclusion 
of their mission at Zaragoza, where, on December 17, 


1370, the city, ever keenly at one with all the events in 
the lives of its sovereign lords coronations, marriages, 
births, and deaths voted a generous grant towards 
the expenses of the wedding festivities. These, alas, 
were destined never to illuminate the page on which 
they should have been inscribed. Stricken down with 
mortal illness on her journey to Catalonia, escorted by 
a splendid retinue, the young bride of whom such high 
hopes had been entertained, and for whom such an 
exalted destiny seemed to be reserved, passed away at 
Beziers, to the great grief of her own country and that 
of her bereaved bridegroom. Stranger though she was 
to him, save by report, it would seem as though the 
twenty-year-old Prince, afterwards to be, as Don Juan I, 
patron of poets and " lover of gentillesse," mourned 
sincerely for his shattered romance. It was not until 
two years later that the trusty Lope de Gurrea was 
once more despatched to France in search of a successor 
to the lost Princess who was the heroine of that romance. 
He found her in Marthe, or Matha as she is styled in 
Spanish history daughter of Jean I, Comte d'Ar- 
magnac, and Beatrix de Clermont. The marriage was 
solemnized by proxy, Lope de Gurrea acting as the 
Duke's representative, March 6, 1373, at the Chateau 
of Lectoure, the seat of the Lords of Armagnac, who 
had made of it one of the most strongly fortified castles 
of mediaeval times in that region. Dona Matha's 
brother, Jean II, had by this time succeeded to his 
father's countship, and it is he who promises the bride 
her dowry of 100,000 golden florins, authorizing her 
to hold in pledge the Viscounty of Auvillars until the 
stipulated sum had been paid. One item only in the 
bridal inventory has come down to our knowledge, that 
sumptuous bedstead, namely, which was to pass, as an 
heirloom, to her as yet unborn daughter, the Infanta 
Juana, on her marriage to Mathieu, Comte de Foix. 
This Aragonese Infanta may well be styled " The 
Princess of the Bedstead," so notable a piece of furni- 
ture was the bed in question, judging from the detailed 


description which has come down to us in the Archives 
of the Crown of Aragon. The canopy was of velvet, 
worked with a design of lions, horses, and doves in gold 
thread. The counterpane, lined with green cloth, was 
of the same material and similarly embroidered. There 
were three pieces of blue silk for curtains, with rings 
and cords complete ; three cushion-covers of blue 
velvet, with the design of the canopy and counterpane 
repeated with these, linen covers were provided, to 
be slipped on when the cushions were not in use. There 
was a cloth used sometimes as a chair-cover with 
blue velvet and gold bars on a red ground, and another, 
similar and smaller, for a smaller chair. There were 
linen sheets, some exquisitely embroidered with gold 
thread and silk, five more blue velvet-covered cushions, 
stuffed with feathers, three coverlets of blue wool, 
five carpets and three pieces of tapestry accompanying 
the bed-furniture, besides a red leather coverlet of 
Morocco workmanship, with the arms of Aragon and 
Armagnac, the latter device also appearing on a woollen 

Light thrown in recent times upon the first Duchess 
of Gerona through the medium of royal correspondence 
unearthed from the Archives of the Crown of Aragon 
acquaints us with a wholly lovable personality, worthy 
in all respects to rank with that possible ancestress of 
hers, the Demoiselle d'Armagnac, who was, declares 
her troubadour, " the most gracious creature that 
ever existed " ; and most worthy, assuredly, to be 
lamented, as was Dona Teresa de Entenza, in her 
untimely end. Dona Matha, as her letters and those 
of others concerning her show her to have been, was 
a loving wife, a tender mother, an affectionate sister, 
one who never lost touch with, or interest in, the elder 
ties and claims of her own kindred. With her husband's 
people, she was on excellent terms. She was affection- 
ately remembered in her mother-in-law, Queen Leonor's 
last will and testament ; her wily old father-in-law, 
Don Pedro, laid his warm tribute to her virtues on her 


grave ; she was in constant correspondence with her 
husband's brother and sister-in-law, Don Martin and 
Dona Maria de Luna, and with his aunt, the Countess 
of Urgel. But it is between the lines of her letters to 
her brother, the Comte d'Armagnac, and to her sister, 
Jeanne, who had been married to the famous and cul- 
tured Jean, Due de Berry, in 1364, that we read of the 
woman as she was. Confident that nothing which 
befalls her or hers is too trivial to be set down, her 
heart for ever cries out from the written page for news 
of those who are so near and dear to her still, in spite 
of the newer claims which have arisen since they parted. 
Tidings of them, and how they fare, whether it be the 
brother in his castles of Lectoure or of Auvillars, or the 
sister, in her Duchy of Berry, never fail to bring " great 
comfort to her heart." It is sad to reflect that tidings 
of death so often and so swiftly succeeded those of 
birth in the nursery news which passed so regularly 
between Gerona and Lectoure. For that shadow of 
fatality which was to culminate two reigns later in the 
total extinction in the male line of dynasty of the 
ancient Counts of Barcelona fell with sinister re- 
currence across the cradles of the children of the Duke 
and Duchess of Gerona. Dona Matha bore five children 
to her husband ; only one of them survived her. Her 
eldest son, born at Valencia on St. John's Eve, 1374, 
was warmly welcomed by the whole of the royal family. 
The King, on learning of the birth of his grandson, sent 
his congratulations to the young father, wishing the 
child a long life a wish, unhappily, not destined to be 
fulfilled. The hope is repeated in a letter from Don 
Pedro to his " dear daughter," in which he trusts that 
the little Infante may grow up in all honour and enjoy 
good fortune. The span between the letters of the 
proud and happy young mother, announcing her glad- 
ness to her " dear sister, the Duchesse de Berry," and 
to her " very dear brother, the Comte d'Armagnac," is 
tragically small. The baby Prince, who was given the 
name of Jaime, survived his birth but two months, 


dying on August 17, 1374. A Princess, named Juana 
(afterwards Countess of Foix), was born at Daroca, 
October, 1375. Berenger de Sarta, prothonotary, is 
charged to give the King news of his granddaughter. 
We are to meet her in another reign. A son, Juan, was 
born at Gerona, July 23, 1376, but died in August of 
the same year. A son, Alfonso, was born and died in 
September, 1377. Last of all, a little daughter, born 
July 14, 1378, only lived to be baptized by the name 
of Leonor, the fever from which Dona Matha had been 
suffering prior to the child's birth, as she pathetically 
explains in her letters to her relatives, being account- 
able for her loss. It was somewhere between the birth 
of these, her two youngest children, that we must 
place the letter addressed by Dona Matha to " Our 
beloved and noble Madona Sibilia de Forcia " a letter 
for which some have been inclined to judge the writer 
somewhat harshly. Sibilia de Forcia, not yet the 
openly acknowledged fourth wife of Don Pedro IV, was 
already, however, queening it over the infatuated King, 
intervening, as Senor Sanpere y Miquel writes, " between 
the King and his vassals, between the King and his 
family, between the father and his sons." No petition, 
adds the same authority, had a chance of being granted 
unless it first passed through Madona SibihVs hands, 
whether the petitioner were a wretched serf, or the 
heir to the throne himself. Who were better able to 
judge of these facts than the Duke and Duchess them- 
selves ? None were better aware than they that if their 
well-beloved and trusty majordomo, Mossen P. Boyl, is 
to obtain the reward which his royal master and mistress 
seek for him at the King's hands, it must be through 
Madona Sibilia. It is not disrespect, therefore, to the 
memory of Queen Leonor (whom, Court gossip averred, 
the fascinating widow of Don Artal de Forces had 
already supplanted before the death of the former) that 
compels Dona Matha to entreat Madona Sibilia to use 
her influence with the King to induce him to bestow 
well-merited and practical recognition upon his son's 


faithful servitor. The flattered intermediary loses no 
time in exerting her influence, as requested the re- 
quest itself, coming, as it does, from a source so near 
the throne, constituting a triumph. Mossen P. Boyl 
duly receives his gift of 80,000 sous, the King (at 
Madona SibihVs dictation, doubtless) letting it be 
known that he grants his daughter-in-law's petition in 
consideration of the affectionate letter addressed by the 
Duchess to Madona Sibilia, and of the intercession of 
the latter. An acknowledgment of the favour shown to 
Mossen Boyl, and of the part played by Madona Sibilia 
in the affair, closes communication between them ; 
a year later, Dona Matha passed away at Zaragoza, in 
October, 1378. Her remains were temporarily interred 
in the city which should have been the scene of her 
Coronation, but four years later we find the faithful 
Lope de Gurrea, who had promised her a crown, on his 
master's behalf, at Lectoure, charged by Don Pedro 
to superintend the removal of the Infanta's coffin to 
Poblet. There, in course of time, her husband was also 
laid to rest ; and it is upon a final vision of infinite 
charm and pathos that the unknown sculptor of her 
effigy bids us turn our gaze on one side of the dead 
monarch, as he then was, sleeps his Queen, Violante of 
Bar, proudly robed in dalmatic, with the regal diadem 
on her head ; on the other, Dona Matha, " your humble 
companion, the Duchess " as she was wont to sign 
herself simply robed, a garland of flowers on her head, 
and the crown she never wore in her marble hands. 

It is unlikely that the death of wife and sister-in-law 
severed the friendly relations between Don Juan and 
the Due de Berry. In their love of culture, both Princes 
had much in common. They exchanged friendly letters. 
One from the Duke of Gerona to the French Prince 
conveys the request for a couple of hunting dogs, " as 
we take great delight in such sport." While a curious 
light is thrown upon one of the superstitions of their 
time by the Duke of Gerona's present to his wife's 
brother-in-law of a bezoar stone, warranted to protect 



the possessor against all ills, more especially against 
danger of poisoning. The Oriental bezoar stone, to 
which such fabulous virtues were attributed in mediaeval 
times that it was worth ten times its weight in gold, was 
the morbid secretion found in the intestines of certain 
ruminant animals. 


Yolande of the noble House of Bar, whose name was 
afterwards changed, in her adopted country, to that 
of Violante, making her, in consequence, the second 
Queen thus named in the history of Aragon, entered 
her husband's family, as sometimes happened then, 
as now, to ladies of lesser rank, as an unwelcome 
daughter-in-law. Pedro the Ceremonious, whose own 
fourfold marriage ventures had given him some skill 
in manipulating politic alliances for his children, had 
had other plans for his eldest son and heir, whose 
recent loss of his first wife, Dona Matha d'Armagnac, 
had seemed to Don Pedro a direct interposition of what- 
ever force he regarded as providential in the furtherance 
of a cherished design. The affairs of Sicily, always of 
sinister import in those of Aragon, were once more 
asserting their ancient influence. Fadrique, King of 
the island kingdom, had died in 1377, leaving by his 
wife, Constanza, daughter of Pedro IV, a daughter, 
Maria, whom the Pope, setting aside in her favour a 
Salic tradition, declared lawful heiress to her father's 
crown. Opposition at once arose from Aragon, Don 
Pedro intimating to the Holy See that he could not 
accept such a violation of the will of the late King of 
Sicily, whereby it had been plainly stipulated that, 
failing male issue, his crown should pass into the hands 
of the King of Aragon. Don Pedro proceeded to follow 
up his ultimatum by his personal departure, in 1378, 
with several ships conveying a numerous suite, to take 
possession of his new territory. In the vain hope of 


averting the civil war which seemed imminent, the 
Catalan party in Sicily being as powerful as that of the 
Sicilians, the young Queen's guardian, Don Artal de 
Alagon, offered her hand to Giovanni Galeozzo, a 
nephew of the Duke of Milan. The King of Aragon 
retaliated by despatching Gilbert de Cruilles, one of his 
most daring captains, with five ships, to intercept and 
burn those which were being prepared to convey the 
noble bridegroom to Sicily. The next move in the 
game at which Don Pedro had never yet been beaten 
was to find a husband for the Queen who should once 
for all secure her inheritance for the descendants of the 
wily monarch. Grievous, therefore, as was the loss of 
a good wife, the death of the first Duchess of Gerona 
could not have happened more opportunely. The 
very lines which convey the old King's condolences 
with his son, craftily intimate that he may, if he will, 
find speedy consolation in the arms of a bride, " pleasing 
to God, and agreeable to Us/' But Don Juan, a widower 
at twenty-eight, is no longer the pliable boy for whom 
his father has already chosen two brides. He will have 
none of the marriage which is thus proposed to him. 
In any case, his heart and fancy alike had already been 
taken captive by a prior attachment. The youth, the 
beauty, the gaiety of Yolande, daughter of Robert, 
Duke of Bar, and niece of Charles the Wise, King of 
France, played havoc with Don Pedro's plans. Eventu- 
ally, as we shall see, the cunning old matchmaker 
gained his point, however, by marrying the heiress of 
Sicily to his grandson, Martin the Younger, the son of 
the King's second son, Martin, Duke of Montblanch. 

The marriage of Don Juan and Violante of Bar took 
place at Montpellier in February, 1380, without any 
of the stately rejoicings which were cu'stomary on 
similar occasions, and unattended by any members of 
the royal family save the Infante, Don Martin, his sister, 
Dona Juana, and her husband, the Count of Ampurias, 
both of whom were to pay dearly for thus braving the 
King's anger. 


We, to whom the picture of Dona Violante queening 
it over the Courts of Love of which both she and her 
husband were such generous patrons is familiar, find it 
difficult, perhaps, to accept another, less familiar, but at 
least as true, of Violante, the Niobe of Aragon. For it 
was to be her lot, as it had been that of her predecessor, 
Dona Matha, to weep often over the empty cradles in 
her palace nurseries. Child after child was she to 
welcome to her hungering arms, only to feel them slip 
from her passionate hold ; whilst she was to taste, 
above all, the crowning bitterness and mortification of a 
Queen of never having borne an heir who should have 
survived to wear his father's crown. The eldest child 
of the Duke and Duchess of Gerona " our most dear 
daughter, the Infanta Violante" was born at Barcelona, 
August 11, 1381, and baptized on the 21st of the same 
month, her sponsors being the Master of Montesa and 
the Countess of Cardona. This Princess, betrothed at the 
age of eleven to Louis II, Duke of Anjou and King of 
Sicily, became his wife in 1400. The second child of the 
Duke and Duchess of Gerona was Don Jaime, created 
at his birth, on March 23, 1384, Dauphin of Gerona, a 
household being assigned to " the illustrious Infante/' 
as his mother styles him in her letters, " my and my 
Lord Duke's very dear son." It was through this 
child, of great promise and of many hopes, that the 
malice of Sibilia de Forcia was able to wing a secret, 
though happily futile shaft against her detested stepson 
and his wife. In 1387, when the little Prince was only 
three years old, his father lay upon what seemed to be 
his death-bed. We cannot doubt that it was " La 
Reyna Forciana " who inspired the letter which the 
King, upon learning of his son's illness, immediately 
despatched to the jurats of Gerona, commanding them 
to take into their custody forthwith, and to deliver 
into the safe keeping of the royal officials, the little Don 
Jaime, in order that, as that master of statecraft chose 
to add, for excuse of his cold-blooded conduct, in the 
event of the apparently imminent demise of his father, 


he should be removed from the guardianship of his 
mother, to be brought up under his grandfather's 
personal supervision. Dona Violante, however, was to 
be spared this cruel insult and injustice. Neither death 
nor treachery was to rob her of both husband and child. 
The former, in spite of his delicate constitution, rallied 
from his serious illness. The latter was to be spared to 
her for a few months longer. Towards the end of June, 
1388, however, there is a note of mournful presage in 
his mother's letters (she was now Queen of Aragon, 
her father-in-law having died in the previous year). 
The much-loved boy began to sicken ; then seemed 
to improve in health ; on August 21 he died. This 
" sinister and most grievous event " called forth the 
most affectionate sympathy from the whole of the royal 
family, while the King of Castile sent Friar Toribio to 
the Court of Aragon with a special mission to endeavour 
to assuage, with Divine consolations, the bereaved 
mother's terrible grief. The Queen, in turn, though 
expressing her gratitude for his kindly words and 
thought, bids him remember, in touching language, 
that she is but a weak woman, and therefore not lightly 
to be comforted in the face of the appalling calamity 
that has overtaken her. Ptdgnancy, it may be, was 
added to her sorrow by the reflection that her over- 
exertion at a ball in 1386 had frustrated her hopes of 
giving birth to a child whose sex she had so confidently 
counted upon that, in a letter to one of her relatives, 
announcing the disappointment of her expectations, 
couched in the primitively outspoken fashion of her day, 
she names it Carlos, as she had intended it to be named 
in the event of its birth. It was not until the following 
year, 1389, that, on May 18, at Monzon, whilst the Cortes 
were assembled in that town, Dona Violante gave 
birth to the anxiously awaited heir to the throne of 
Aragon. The child, who was named Fernando, and who 
had for sponsors his uncle, Martin, Duke of Montblanch, 
Hugo, Count of Cardona, and the Prioress of Sigena, 
did not live to attain to his august inheritance ; he 


died in October of the same year. A little Infanta, 
named Antonia, born September 25, 1391, died May 31, 
1392, the Court mourning for her death causing the 
postponement till June of the wedding festivities of her 
stepsister, Dona Juana. Another little Princess, Leonor, 
born January 2, 1393, died in the following July. On 
January 14, 1394, Dona Violante gave birth, at Valencia, 
to her sixth child, upon whom were bestowed the names 
Pedro, Brigido (from his mother's great devotion to St. 
Bridget), and Hilario. His godparents were Pedro de 
Abella, " a poor man of noble origin/' of Montserrat, 
and " a poor woman." The little Infante did not long 
survive his birth, and on April 21, 1395, we hear the un- 
happy mother imploring the Prior of the Monastery of 
Scala Dei to pray God to give her a son. The seventh 
and last child of Violante, however, proved to be a 
daughter, born April 3 or 4, baptized by the name of 
Juana, and died August 4 of the same year, 1396. 
The Queen, writing to acquaint her cousin, the King of 
Navarre, with this last stroke, says she is " full of 
grief and sadness, lasting all day/' Had this child 
proved to be the heir for whom we listen to her across 
the centuries besieging the very gates of Heaven itself 
with passionate petitions, the doom of extinction of the 
Catalan dynasty might yet have been averted. But it 
was not to be. 

Dismissing the mournful image which we have con- 
jured up, of Dona Violante as the Niobe of Aragon, we 
retrace our steps to the better-known and splendid 
queenship of this Lady of the Courts of Love. 

In 1387, the death of Pedro the Ceremonious had called 
his heir, Don Juan I, and his consort, Violante, to reign 
over a Court and household which, thanks to the ever- 
rising tide of commercial prosperity and the influx of 
all the arts and industries of the world's markets, to- 
gether with the fussy fastidiousness which had character- 
ized the rule of the Formalist King, had now reached 
a climax of unrivalled pomp and luxury. While her 
husband was attended at home and abroad by an army 


of counts, barons, and grandees of every rank, no great 
lady in the land was missing from the household of Dona 

The Court of the Kings of Aragon in the Middle Ages 
consisted of persons entitled by birth or authority to 
surround the royal persons. The chief of these func- 
tionaries was the majordomo, who was the head of the 
household, and sometimes styled the Primate of the 
Palace. Under this functionary, a whole army of lesser 
officials discharged their multifarious duties. Such were 
the stewards, who looked after the domestic arrangement 
of the Palace, the Counts of the Palace, comprising 
Counts of the notaries, the stables, the spurs, the 
treasury, and the cupbearers ; cellarers, pantlers, 
equerries, grooms, doorkeepers, prefects of the cellars, 
scriveners ; besides the particular guards for the 
King's person mesnaderos, ballesteros de maza, and 
monteros de Espana, the latter office still hereditary in 
the royal household in Spain. Of no less importance in 
the Palace was the Alcalde of the pages, a functionary 
whose office it was to train the young gentlemen in his 
care in all knightly exercises, it being then the custom 
for both sons and daughters of the great families of the 
kingdom to be brought up at Court, or in the castles of 
the chief nobles, thus creating strong ties of dependence 
and vassalage between the throne and its subjects. 
The Courts of the Queens and Infantas were similarly 

On Mondays the King gave public audience to his 
subjects, on Tuesday and Friday he transacted business 
of state, the other four days of the week being at his 
own disposal and pleasure. 

The passion of the Queen for dancing, music, and dress 
was reflected in the ceaseless round of gaiety which 
formed the daily life of the Palace, with its household of 
no less than 287 persons. The Queen, writing to the 
Abbess of Sigena, apropos of a forthcoming interview 
between the Aragonese and French sovereigns, is pre- 
occupied, less with the political significance of such a 


meeting, than with her almost frenzied search in every 
direction for the costliest fabrics for her own and her 
ladies' dresses ; although she admits that it is not 
enough to be attended by a train of noble ladies, exqui- 
sitely attired and dowered with beauty, unless their 
wisdom and discretion correspond with their outward 
appearance. To supply what may be lacking among 
her household in this respect, Dona Violante beseeches 
the Abbess and one or two of her nuns to accompany 
the royal party. / 

The royal family divided their time every year / 
between the different parts of their dominions, occupy- 
ing, in the larger towns, the royal palaces, or, in the 
smaller ones, lodging at a monastery, or even in a private 
house. Torroella de Montgri, in the north-east of Cata- 
lonia, was one of the favourite residences of the Kings 
of Aragon, especially in the reigns of Don Jaime I, 
Don Jaime II, and Don Juan I, the latter of whom set 
forth, on his last fatal hunting expedition, from the 
walls, of which but few remnants remain at the present 
day. The castle of Torroella, known as " El Mirador," 
commanded magnificent views of the surrounding 
country, whilst its luxuriant orchards and spacious 
gardens were the setting, in the days of Dona Violante 
of Bar, for many a stately and splendid fete. The winter 
was usually spent by the royal family in Valencia and 
Murcia, that is to say, from November to February. 
The Palace of the Kings of Aragon at Valencia, formerly 
the Palacio del Eeal, now bears the name of Palacio 
Real. March, April, and May were spent in Aragon, 
June to October in Catalonia. 

No royal or noble household at this date was con- / 
sidered complete without the addition of one or more 
black slaves, whose ebony skins were thought to add 
fairness, by contrast, to the complexions of the great 
ladies upon whom they waited. The households of 
Dona Violante, Dona Maria de Luna, and Dona Sibilia 
de Forcia undoubtedly included several of these dusky 
attendants, who were frequently bestowed, as a horse, 


a jewel, or other valuable gift might be, upon a royal 
favourite. Merchants trading with the East found 
this human part of their consignments quite as profit- 
able as the spices, the silks, and other freights which 
their ships brought from the Orient to the slave-markets 
of Perpignan and Barcelona. Dona Violante writes to 
Francisco Casages, a merchant of Barcelona, to send her 
by some trustworthy person the slaves she has com- 
missioned him to purchase for her, together with the 
cloth of gold, silk, and pearls, which seem to have 
formed part of her order, and which, she was given to 
understand, had now duly come to hand. Don Juan I 
sends to the East for " a black slave of about nineteen 
or twenty years of age," as he sends for carpets, balsam, 
nuts, and preserved fruits. 

A favourite form of indoor amusement was that of 
liter eros (in modern spelling, titiriteros), or marionettes, 
an entertainment which was of Italian origin. Items 
relating to the " stage-carpenter's " requirements for 
the construction of these puppets appear in early 
Household Accounts of the Kings of Aragon, the list 
including " cloth of Brittany," or canvas, pine boards, 
nails, wire, quires of paper, glue, sheepskins (probably 
for the costumes), gold and silver leaf chalk and crystal 
stones (for the eyes ?), white wax, and paints, German 
blue, indigo, vermilion, and ochre. Marionettes were 
not only, however, a luxury of the Court, but a municipal 
institution, and the master of the marionettes, who 
travelled through the country with his little wooden 
castle or fortress and his manikins packed away in 
his mule-cart, shared with acrobats, tumblers, jugglers, 
and rope-walkers the patronage of the crowds at fairs 
or in the public thoroughfares, his repertoire generally 
consisting of the lives of the saints and romance heroes. 

The morris-dance and masked buffoon were as well 
known at the Court of Aragon as elsewhere in mediaeval 
Europe, while here, too, the yellow livery and cap and 
bells of the Court jester flashed and tinkled among the 
jewels and brocade of the lords and ladies whom he 


moved to merriment with his witty sallies. ' Ugliness 
and deformity," says one writer, " were as much a 
recommendation in a fool, as intelligence' in a monkey, 
beauty of plumage in a peacock, or chatter in a parrot." 
Aragon 's most famous Court jester, " Master," or 
" Director of the Buffoons," as he was styled, was 
Antonio Tallander, better known by his sobriquet of 
" Mossen Borra," who is said to have entered the service 
of King Martin in 1397, and who, in addition to his 
office of entertainer at the Courts of this sovereign and 
at least two of his successors, Fernando I and Alfonso V, 
served the latter monarch as ambassador to the Court 
of the Emperor Sigismund, and corresponded familiarly 
with both the King and his consort, Maria of Castile. 
The royal family loaded this fortunate mummer with 
favours. Don Fernando begs his eldest son -to stand 
sponsor for " the fine boy " of " Mossen Borra " and his 
wife, whom we know to have been Inez de Collell, 
daughter of Mateo and Brunesinda de Collell, of Vich, 
King Martin having bestowed 600 golden florins, on the 
occasion of the marriage, upon " that faithful servant 
of our house," " Mossen Borra." Alfonso V gave him a 
Tartar slave, and out of his large royal benefactions, he 
prudently purchased house-property, and rose to be a 
well-to-do citizen of Barcelona. 

The dining-hall or Hall of Tinell (open house in 
Catalan) of the Palace of the Kings of Aragon at Barce- 
lona must be sought to-day beneath the roof of the 
Convent of St. Clare in that city, of which it forms the 
nave. To this site of changed uses and many memories 
we must transport ourselves if we are to reconstruct 
the picture of the royal meal-times in mediaeval Aragon. 
At dawn, the Palace sweepers, chosen, we are told, for 
their youth and nimbleness, and responsible for the 
sweeping and watering of the noble apartment, duly 
fulfilled their task. Should the day be one of festival, 
Christmas, Easter, or Whitsuntide, or the Feast of the 
patron saint of the city, the walls must be hung with the 
splendid tapestries kept in reserve for such occasions. 


On ordinary occasions, the walls were left bare. As the 
hour of dinner, usually about one o'clock, approached, 
the twelve porters whose office it was to be on duty at 
the outer doors, together with the ballesteros, twenty in 
number, appointed to guard the inner doors, took up 
their stand. Music summoned the royal family to table, 
generally provided by four joglars, two trumpeters, and 
one taborer, 1 silence, however, being enjoined upon 
these instrumentalists on Fridays, during Lent, or in 
time of war. In striking contrast to the lavish succession 
of dishes served at the royal table on festive and cere- 
monial occasions, the ordinary fare was exceedingly 
simple ; generally two dishes at dinner and one at 
supper. In winter poultry appeared daily ; in summer, 
chicken. On three days in the week, one dish was to 
be cooked in water, the other with butter. Metge 
satirizes the gourmands who must have their " fat 
capons cooked on the spit, with a spicy sauce, part- 
ridges, pheasants, fat thrushes, pigeons, and quails/' 
Ancient writers give the palm, above all other dishes, as 
supremely fit for a king's table, to the peacock, mir- 
rawte, and manjar Uanco, each of which, such writers 
declare, should be crowned with a royal crown. Of the 
first of these it is unnecessary to speak in detail ; the 
second appears to have been a kind of timbale com- 
pounded sometimes of meat or poultry, sometimes 
of fruit ; the third, still known in Spain and Portugal, 
was a confection of the breast of fowl, mixed with 
sugar, milk, and rice-flour, almond, ginger, and rose- 
water. The patriarchal solicitude with which the sub- 
jects of the Kings of Aragon supervised and checked 
their lords' household expenses extended to the choice 
of the royal menu. )CThe Court physician, who was pre- 
sumed to know more about the royal constitution than 
his cooks, not only occupied a place of honour at the 

1 Our own Kings had their retinue of minstrels in the Middle Ages. 
At the Court of Edward III were five trumpeters, one citoler, five pipers, 
one tabouretter, two clarion-players, one nakerer, one fiddler, and three 
" waits." Margaret, Queen of Edward I, had her citharista and her istrio. 



table, but had, before sitting down to dinner, exercised 
his office of taster of the meats, vegetables, and bread. 
This important functionary further advised or vetoed 
certain foods according to the good or evil influence 
which they were popularly supposed to have upon 
those who partook of them. Thus, " rice and pulse 
were much esteemed/' we are told, " in Spain for soup," 
probably on medical advice, while cabbages, aubergines, 
and olives were to be partaken of sparingly at the royal 
table, as they were supposed to cause melancholy ! 
Rocket caused headache, and obscured the sight, beans 
caused loss of memory, and mushrooms were equally 
harmful ! Onions, leeks, borage, pumpkins, parsley, 
mint, cress, celery, and fennel were accounted excellent 
for the digestion, and were specially advised on fast- 
days. On these days, says Eximenis, the ecclesiastical 
satirist of the thirteenth century, the fare at royal and 
noble tables was of the most delicate kind, pancakes, 
choice fish, not dressed with garlic and onions, but 
served with dried fruits, almonds, pine-kernels, rice in 
almond cream, and pine paste. Sauces were much 
used, rose-water figuring in all, though sorrel- juice was 
frequently employed. 

The royal larder was abundantly stocked from the 
markets, mountains, streams, and orchards of Cata- 
lonia. Fowls, capons, turkeys, peacocks, pigeons, geese, 
ducks, thrushes, partridge, and pheasant ; venison ; 
the far-famed trout of many a storied river ; all these 
abounded, while the gardens around the city and be- 
yond it were a veritable granary of the gods. The 
mediaeval dessert in bygone Barcelona must have been 
as goodly to the sight as it was luscious to the taste. 
Old Estefan Corbera paints their teeming splendour for 
us who come so long after. Peaches of Balaguer and 
Solfera, pears of Puigcerda, almonds of Urgel, chestnuts 
of Vich and Canpreda, oranges, limes, lemons, citron 
and quinces of Barcelona, figs and pine-kernels, of which 
the mediaeval confectioner fashioned a confection not 
unlike the nougat for which the pine-cone gatherers in 


the pine region of Spain of to-day may still be seen 

The various sweets which were so important an item 
of the mediaeval courses were usually prepared by the 
Court apothecary, who in turn delivered them to the 
special functionary charged with their presentation at 
the royal table. Occasionally, however, a local con- 
fectioner was patronized, as, for instance, during the 
reign of Don Juan I, when an order was given to a 
certain Catorra, confectioner, of Barcelona, to send to 
the Palace a quantity of metheglin and alojas, for which, 
as Catorra seemed to demur as to executing the order, 
pending the settlement of his account, the Queen gave 
her royal word to hold herself responsible. The King 
again gave orders, October 22, 1388, to a certain Juan 
de Monlus, to bring him from Alexandria, together with 
balsam, carpets, nuts and apples, preserved fruits. 

Clove, nutmeg, pepper, ginger, and aniseed were the 
favourite table spices, while under the name of alimbares 
we find the mediaeval preserved fruits, lemon, melon, 
pumpkin, peach, citron, and pine-kernel. The sweet- 
meats of Montpellier, Valencia, and Alexandria ; raisins, 
almonds, pistachio nuts, with a little honey, were 
commonly served at the Aragonese royal table, together 
with cheesecakes and the famous quince marmalade of 

Other favourite sweets were those known as mata- 
faluga and camalma, the former made from carraway 
seeds, and the latter from pomegranate seeds mixed 
with almonds and pine-kernels. We also read of 
:t Turks' heads " and " angels' throats," while the 
" marchpane with a royal escutcheon," the " compote 
of quinces," and the " violet-coloured custards," of 
which we may read in the banquets of our own Kings 
in mediaeval times, were probably not missing from those 
of their Spanish contemporaries. 

At the close of the repast, spiced drinks and wafers 
or little cakes were served. These drinks, known as 
alajas, included hydromel, metheglin, honey-water, 


and hippocras. Arnaldo de Villanova, a famous physi- 
cian and alchemist of the thirteenth century, gives the 
following recipe for nectar : cinnamon, ginger, clove, 
pepper, sugar, honey, and musk. From Mr. Emerson's 
interesting book on Beverages it may be gathered that 
modern Spain comes no whit behind mediaevalism 
in the preparation of fascinating and cooling drinks. 
The very names recall, in many instances, their antiquity. 
Such are mistela, compounded of red wine, sugar, honey, 
and water ; carraspada, made from red wine and honey ; 
meloja, honey boiled with water, and then allowed to 
ferment ; aguamiel, which is hydromel ; apomeli, 
made from honeycomb which has been placed in water ; 
murinna, still drunk in the south of Spain, spiced and 
aromatized, as at mediaeval tables ; while the modern 
celery liqueur, orange and barley water, possibly had 
their ancient counterparts in Aragon. 

Food without sauces was served on trenchers (taja- 
dors), those which were liquid or had sauces in bowls or / 
porringers (escudillas), winch were often of gold. The 
drinking vessels were of various graceful and curious 
shapes, the hanap predominating. These were some- 
times made of wood, with the foot of silver, the cover 
enamelled with a fleur-de-lis or other device. The salt- 
cellars were an important table ornament, often in the 
shape of a little ship. If very large they were pushed 
along the table on small wheels, and furnished with a 
cover and key. When the guests were numerous, salt- 
cellars made of breadcrumbs were placed at intervals on 
the table. Crystal salt-cellars, on silver feet, set with 
pearls, figured onTEe table of King Martin and Queen 
Maria de Luna. 

Don Juan I, weakly in constitution, but active in 
mind, was greatly addicted to music and the pleasures 
of the chase. No Court in Europe, save perhaps that of 
France, possessed such expert falcons, the Chief Falconer 
having as many as twenty- one called for by the King on 
his hawking expeditions, while the hunting forays of 
the Court were on a scale of unexampled magnificence. 


As a lover of books, and a collector of rare and curious 
objects of art, Don Juan had no rival in his times, except 
his brother-in-law, Jean, Due de Berry. The world has 
scarcely ever seen so intellectual a Court as that of this 
monarch. It would seem, indeed, if we are to accept the 
picture drawn for us by Bernat Metge, as if it had been 
cumbered with culture. Here, Bernat Descoll, the 
chronicler, was treasurer and chancellor ; Antonio 
Vilaregut, the majordomo, translated Seneca in the 
intervals of his high office ; Domingo Mario wrote 
dramatic poetry, whilst acting as vice-chancellor ; 
Pere Dartes compiled a treasury ; the Queen's con- 
fessor, Friar Antonio Canals, translated The Decameron ; 
the very " Sobrecoch " (who held an office between the 
majordomo and chef), by name Nicholas Pachs, indited 
wise saws. 

But it was music which took the palm amongst all 
other arts at this cultured Court. The names of many 
of the joglars and musicians of Don Juan have come 
down to us, and quaintly they read. Colinet, Hanequi, 
Phifet, Juan de las Orgues, and Gilaberto, his brother, 
Peter of Bar (apparently a countryman of the Queen's), 
and his son, John, Nicholas of the Organs, Jaquet, 
Canuthe, and Martiney. Their task of enlivening the 
long winter evenings, when the Court was in residence, 
now at Barcelona, now at Villafranca del Panades, 
Monzon, Perpignan, Tortosa, Torroella de Montgri, or 
other summer resorts, was indispensable to their royal 
master and mistress. Wandering thus, it may be, the 
Court musicians soon wearied of a settled life. Thus, 
a certain Everli, and his three companions, Guelm, 
Blajoch, and Macadanga, players on the cupa and 
cornamusa, stole away, to the consternation of the 
Court, on their return from Paris, where, in accordance 
with the custom of kings, they had been lent by Don 
Juan for the festivities in celebration of the King's 
victories in Germany. Instead, however, of returning 
direct to Aragon, they went back to their former master, 
the Duke of Turenne, who, on being requested by Don 


Juan to send them back, replied that he had only lent 
them for the latter 's coronation. Don Juan vainly be- 
sought the King of France to bring the weight of his 
authority to bear upon the Duke. Everli could nowhere 
be found, and the King of Aragon was forced to despatch 
Juan Armer, tenor of the royal chapel, to find him players 
in France and Germany who should be equal to the 
lost Everli. Hanequi and Phifet were fortunately 
able to report later on that they had discovered " two 
youths, players on the horn, xalamia, and other instru- 
ments " no less skilfully than the truant. 

If sweet singers were many in Christian Spain of the 
Middle Ages, the instruments at their disposal were 
numerous indeed. Apart from the guitar, the lute, 
and the vielle, more particularly associated with the 
times of the jongleur, we read of the rebec, flute, harp, 
organistrum, psalterion, dulcimer, timbrels, cymbals, 
zither, handbells, tambourine, clarions, trumpets, 
kettledrums, the gigue, " shrill and saucy, with its 
merry tinkle," and the bagpipes. 

It was to these, and to many another whose names 
are in doubt, that we hear the minstrel singing : 

All the minstrel art I know ; 
I the viol well can play ; 
I the harp and syrinx blow, 
Harp and gigue my hand obey ; 
Psaltery, symphony and rote, 
Help to charm the listening throng, 
And Armona lends its note, 
Whilst I warble forth my song. 

I have tales and fables plenty, 
Satires, pastorals, full of sport, 
Songs to Vielle I've more than twenty, 
Ditties, too, of every sort. 
I from lovers tokens bear, 
I can flowery chaplets weave, 
Amorous belts can well prepare, 
And with courteous speech deceive. 

The sovereigns of Castile, Navarre, and Foix beg the 
loan of Don Juan's musicians for special occasions, 


Colinet and Macadan9a being thus requisitioned, while 
Don Juan in turn requests his son-in-law, the Count of 
Foix, to lend him his three joglars, Hulin, Juan de 
Beses, and Juan de Collells. The Countess of Foix seems 
to have shared her father's love for music. In a letter 
written by her to her stepmother, with whom her re- 
lations seem always to have been of the most affec- 
tionate character, she tells her that, on a journey, being 
unable to rest or to obtain any sleep, when they halted, 
she called to her lady, Aldonza de Queralt, and bid her 
play to her on the harp, and sing duets with Pablo 
presumably a joglar. The livery of the Court musicians, 
in which they were always expected to appear at 
foreign Courts, was white and scarlet, with the royal 
arms as a badge on breast or shoulder. 

We have now to turn from Don Juan, " Lover of 
gentillesse," and patron of musicians and artists, to the 
portrait drawn for us by later pens ; that portrait which 
lifts the veil on the true recreations of this pleasure- 
loving Eng, more enamoured, if we are to believe these 
critics, of the occult arts, to the study of which the 
most scientific men of his time were openly addicted, 
than to either the chase or the dance. We are to sweep 
aside the veil that has for centuries concealed the royal 
adept, closeted in his laboratory with the indispensable 
Cresquez, his Jewish astrologer en litre, poring over the 
necromantic tomes of Bias de Corbera, a Bishop skilled 
in the art ; corresponding with the French alchemist, 
Jaime Lustrach, to whom he is said to have paid large 
sums in order to assist the impostor in his search for the 
Philosopher's Stone ; invoking spirits of doubtful 
purity, preparing formula for the manufacture of magic 
rings, warranted to give warning of the approach of 
evil influences. What wonder, if this picture be a true 
one, and we can scarcely doubt it when we see the 
panic into which the whisper of witchcraft practised 
against the person of the King threw both Don Juan 
and his Queen, what wonder, asks one writer, that the 
subjects of such a monarch invoked the aid of witches 


on every occasion ? Nor, accepting the truth of the 
portrait, can we fail to see how narrow was the escape 
from a shameful death of Sibilia de Forcia. 

With the occult recreations of their King, his people 
had too much sympathy to interfere. It was far other- 
wise with that element of extravagant pleasure which 
they attributed to the French Queen, and to which the 
Aragonese, accustomed to somewhat simpler ideals, 
took outspoken exception. The King was called upon, 
after the summary manner of his subjects, to set his 
house in order, and to this end, to remove from his 
household certain persons of questionable character, 
and, above all, Dona Carroza de Vilaregut, who was 
supreme alike in the Queen's confidence and (though 
this, it would appear, was but Court scandal and lying 
gossip) in the King's affections . The royal couple 
returned a haughty and unqualified refusal to this in- 
solent demand, which was signed by several of the 
notables of the kingdom, Alfonso, Marquis of Villena, 
James, Bishop of Tortosa, James de Prades, and 
Bernardo de Cabrera, but, in the end, the King and 
Queen were forced to give way, and to consent to the 
banishment of their favourite, though much that was 
a delight to eye and ear survived, we may well believe, 
her departure. If the Courts of Love over which Dona 
Carroza held sway at the Queen's side were shorn after 
her enforced exile of much of their brilliancy, yet there 
was no lack of other diversions. If the songs and 
recitations of his troubadours, sung and told on winter 
evenings in the Palace at Barcelona, or in the open- 
air of the gardens of the summer-house of Torroella de 
Montgri, palled upon the King, he a't least could escape 
to his occult studies or to the chase ; whilst the Queen 
and her ladies, wearying of the praises of their beauty 
on the singers' lips, might turn to their heart's content 
the unwritten pages of the fashions of their day. One 
such page was illuminated on the wedding-day of the 
King's daughter by his first marriage, Dona Juana, with 
Matthew, Count of Foix. 


For this, the only surviving child of his first marriage 
with Dona Matha of Armagnac, Juan I always enter- 
tained, it is evident, a deep affection. It is probable 
that father and daughter had much in common ; cer- 
tainly, she inherited, as we have seen, his love of music. 
For the great event of her marriage with the head of 
one of the most cultured Courts of Western Europe, 
neither trouble nor expense were spared. Spain, even 
to distant Granada, crowded with looms for weaving 
fabrics fit for kings' daughters, was ransacked for 
cloths of gold, silk, velvets, camlets, and yards of linen, 
for the bridal trousseau ; for gold-embroidered cover- 
lets and crimson velvet curtains ; whilst her jewels were 
worthy of her rank and of the place she held in her 
royal father's heart. Notable amongst these was a 
garland or coronal " with all its complement " one of 
those graceful and fashionable circlets of the day which 
were worn on great occasions alike by men and women 
of high rank in Catalonia and Aragon. For the wedding 
banquet, the King sent messengers to the Abbots and 
Priors of all the Catalonian monasteries requiring them 
to provide so many turkeys, so much bacon, bread, 
and red and white wine. Couriers were also despatched 
to Perpignan, that unfailing larder of the royal house- 
hold at Barcelona, with orders to bring back twenty 
pairs of peacocks, sixty hams, and twenty casks of 
wine. An enormous quantity of wax was also required, 
for candles, tapers, and brandons ; both for the Palace 
and for the Chapel. Barcelona entered heartily into the 
preparations for the ceremony, which twelve of the 
consuls were bidden to attend, in gala robes, while 
the citizens were to see that the streets were freshly 
strewn, according to custom, with green boughs and 
foliage. Barcelona's gift to the Infanta was probably 
those silver-gilt bowls or basins with the royal arms 
which figure amongst the Princess's inventory. The 
bride possibly presented to her bridegroom, according 
to Catalonian fashion, a sword or jewel, a richly- 
embroidered purse or pouch, or the local levacap, a 


peculiarly Catalan head-dress, worn by both sexes, 
made of silk, cotton, or linen, edged with gold or gems. 
Purses such as were in fashion in the days of Juana 
of Aragon would have been no unworthy bridal offering 
even from Prince to Princess. Upon the Infanta would 
rest no such prohibition as rested upon the everyday 
brides of Barcelona, who were forbidden to receive one 
such purse costing more than 50 sueldos, to such a 
pitch of extravagance had these accessories of a lady's 
costume attained at this date. We read of them made 
of gold brocade, worked with marguerites in pearls, 
and fringed with pearls and blue silk ; of red or yellow 
leather, with gold cords ; of blue aceituni with pendent 
ornaments and cords of various colours. Gloves, again, 
worked with pearls, were not to be given to brides ; 
we may confidently assume that the Infanta laughed 
this prohibition also to scorn. 

The young Countess of Foix, removed from her 
father's Court, never lost her place in his affectionate 
remembrance. He sends to her at the New Year a 
jewel specially made to his order at Perpignan a 
clasp for cloak or gown, a castle with a damsel in white 
enamel and a bird in her hand, set with one balas ruby, 
three sapphires, and six pearls. Again, on Candlemas 
Day, 1394, a festival which was a family as well as 
a religious celebration in Catalonia, when it was cus- 
tomary for relatives to exchange various objects made 
of wax, Don Juan sends to the Countess a casket made 
of white wax, receiving from her in turn several tapers, 
candles, etc. Was it at her intercession, perhaps, or 
moved by some remembrance of the brave beauty of 
her bridal garments, that on April 21, 1393, the King 
granted to Dona Blanca, wife of Bernardo Mulner, and 
to her namesake, wife of Juan Blanch, both denizens 
of Puigcerda, " to wear, statutes to the contrary not- 
withstanding, cloths of gold and silver, and furs and 
precious stones " ? 

The reign of Juan I and his Queen is memorable in 
the literary annals of Aragon for the foundation at 


Barcelona of the " College du Gai Savoir," in imitation 
of the " Very Gay Company of the Seven Troubadours 
of Toulouse," which, in 1390, on the warm invitation 
of the King, already well known in France for his 
patronage of letters, sent three of their conservators to 
the Court of Don Juan, where their welcome was assured 
beforehand. The famous centre of culture which they 
instituted was greatly favoured by the sovereigns who 
came after its first patron ; it reached its golden age, 
however, in the reign of Fernando the Just, the age 
of the celebrated Enrique de Villena. 

Passionately addicted to every form of dramatic and 
musical entertainment, the subjects of this King and 
Queen were quick to seize every opportunity of thus 
entertaining them. Valencia, for example, offered 
them on the occasion of their solemn entry into the 
city in 1392, a lavish display of municipal merry-making, 
in which special performances were allotted to the 
various towns-gilds. Thus, the bridle-makers acted a 
pantomime of savages, the sailors a naval combat, this 
last affording the carpenters an opportunity of gallantly 
defending a wooden castle of their own construction. 

The Eoyal Palace at Valencia was at all times a 
frequent setting for dramatic performances, commonly 
described as " entremeses," or " interludes." This, 
says Mr. Chambers in his Mediaeval Stage, " was 
the normal name, varied chiefly by ' play * and ' dis- 
guising/ for plays given in the banqueting-hall of 
the great " ; " stage-plays," adds the same authority, 
!< being performed out of door in the summer, and 
' interludes ' in winter indoors." Under the latter 
heading we may place that performance entitled 
" I/hom enamorat e la fembra satisfeta," given before 
the King and Queen and their Court at Valencia in 
1394. The author of the " interlude " was Mossen 
Domingo Maspons, a councillor of the King. The 
heroine of the drama was none other than that Dona 
(or Na) Carroza de Vilaregut to whom the Court of 
Violante of Bar owed, at first, so much gaiety, and, 


later, such rude shock of silenced songs; while it is 
possible that this " interlude " was the origin of the 
scandal before alluded to, although by this time her 
name was linked, not with that of the King, but with 
that of Mossen Francisco de Pau, the Queen's major- 
domo, as he appeared with her in a later lawsuit against 
Don Bernardo de Vilaregut, for not complying with a royal 
order, which seems to have been made in their favour, 
to renounce certain property claimed by Dona Carroza. 
Widowhood, which she was never to lay aside, came 
to Dona Violante with tragic suddenness. On May 19, 
1396, runs the generally accepted version, the King and 
Queen, having terminated their sojourn at their 
favourite summer resort of Torroella de Montgri, were 
travelling to Gerona, when the former, a halt having 
been ordered at the wood of Orriols, plunged unattended 
into its recesses, and there, a few hours later, was found 
dying. The cause of his death, which took place the 
same day at Vespers, was commonly declared to have 
been a fall from his horse, though the legend has long 
hung about the incident of the apparition of a gigantic 
and, presumably, supernatural she-wolf, an apparition 
which, it can be well believed, would have had peculiar 
and death-dealing terrors for a man of the King's 
superstitious nature and delicate constitution. 

The call to lay aside the sceptre which she had 
virtually wielded throughout her consort's reign, must 
have been indeed repugnant to such a woman as Dona 
Violante. To yield it to her sister-in-law, Dona Maria 
de Luna, with whom she had but little in common, 
must have intensified the bitterness of abdication. Nor 
did she relinquish her queenship without a struggle. 
Scarcely had Barcelona acclaimed the virtuous and 
popular Duchess of Montblanch Queen and Regent 
pending her husband's return from Sicily, than the 
widowed Queen announced that the kingdom might 
still expect the birth of a possible heir to the dead 
King's throne. The city authorities immediately sent 


an embassy to the Palace, imploring the Queen, for the 
love of God and for the honour of the state, to confirm 
or to deny her statement. Dona Violante, thus brought 
to book in the plain, uncompromising fashion of Aragon, 
hesitates, equivocates. The " grave and reverend 
seigniors " of Barcelona grow suspicious. A guard of 
" ancient and honourable matrons," the mother of 
Pedro Oliver, the mother of Francisco Camos, the 
mother of Bernardo Capila, and others, are appointed 
on the spot to keep watch and ward over the Queen 
pending the proof of her assertions. Dona Violante had 
no alternative but to acquiesce. With what grace she 
can counterfeit, she welcomes her enforced guests to 
the Palace, from which she demands, at the same time, 
the expulsion of Queen Sibilia de Forcia, who, we may 
gather from this incident, had been assigned apart- 
ments beneath its roof, from the royal residence. A 
strange request ! The woman who had triumphed, 
then, still feared the one who had suffered defeat at 
her hands. What was there to fear, one may ask, from 
this discrowned and discredited pensioner, stripped of 
every outward vestige of royalty ? From the fallen 
Queen, nothing. From Sibilia de Forcia, the proven 
witch, everything ! Was Dona Violante really afraid 
of her once powerful enemy still ? Or was her urgent 
requisition only part of the role she had resolved to 
play ? Did she, in affecting an attitude perfectly 
natural under the supposed circumstances, hope to 
impress her guardians with the reality of her condition ? 
What woman of her times, believing that the very 
breath of the witch had power to strike through stone 
walls at her victim, would face the perils of maternity 
with such a danger beneath her very roof ? To give 
birth to a child who might prove to be the means of 
restoring to her hands, through his long minority, that 
sceptre to which she was prepared to cling at all costs, 
within the circle of such baleful influence as that pos- 
sessed by Sibilia de Forcia, the witch, was a hazard not 
to be thought of. The sentence of banishment was pro- 


nounced on the malignant enchantress, and Dona 
Violante and her " ancient and honourable " custodians 
together awaited events. But when the term of their 
waiting was over, when Dona Maria de Luna was once 
more free to take up the royalty of the woman who 
had sought to delay her parting from a passionately 
loved greatness, the citizens of Barcelona may well have 
whispered amongst themselves, as they saw the hopes 
of the widowed Queen come to naught, that the Witch- 
Queen had triumphed after all ; since no son of Juan I 
and Dona Violante of Bar was to sit upon his father's 
throne. Dona Violante lived through the reigns of 
Martin the Humane, Fernando the Just, and Alfonso V, 
witnessing the rivalry between that monarch and her 
grandson, Louis, Duke of Anjou, the son of her name- 
sake daughter, the great Yolande of Anjou, for the suc- 
cession of Naples. Her death took place at Barcelona, 
July 3, 1431. 


Juan, Duke of Gerona, betrothed to the Princess Jeanne de Valois. Her 
death at Beziers, 1370. 

Don Juan marries Dona Matha of Armagnac, 1373. 

Birth of their eldest son, at Valencia, 1374. 

Birth of Dona Juana, 1375. 

Birth of Don Juan, 1376. 

Birth and death of Don Alfonso, 1377. 

Birth and death of Doiia Leonor. Death of Dona Matha, 1378. 

Marriage of Don Juan II and Dona Violante of Bar, 1380. 

Accession of Don Juan I, 1387. 

Death of Don Juan, 1396. 

Death of Dona Violante, 1431. 



BY the death, in the summer of 1361, of Count Lope de 
Luna, the King and Kingdom of Aragon sustained the 
irreparable loss of " a faithful and valiant servant of 
the Crown/' and one of the greatest of Aragonese 
noblemen. The Palace of the Aljaferia had been en 
fete thirteen years before on the occasion of his investi- 
ture with the title of Count of Luna, never before borne 
save by the son of a King ; but Don Lope was already 
closely bound to the throne itself by his marriage with 
Dona Violante, aunt of Don Pedro IV. A widower in 
1353, Don Lope had married, as his second wife, Dona 
Brianda d'Agouth, a Provenal lady, daughter of 
Count Beltran d'Agouth, nephew of Pope Clement V. 
By her, he became the father of two daughters, Dona 
Maria, who succeeded to his possessions, and Dona 
Brianda, whose matrimonial affairs were to give some 
concern to the royal family at a later date. There is 
some evidence in the last will and testament of Don 
Lope that he had foreseen as a possibility, even if he had 
not formally discussed the matter with his royal master, 
a royal alliance for his heiress, for it was expressly 
stipulated in the document in question that, if Dona 
Maria should marry " a King, or a King's eldest 
son/' the title of Count of Luna should be conferred 
upon the second son of such a marriage, together with 
the right to bear the arms of that illustrious House, 
whose state, says Zurita, was unmatched by any in 
Spain. With characteristic promptitude, Don Pedro IV 
lost no time in annexing the little heiress for his easy- 



going, good-natured second son, the Infante Don Martin, 
the consent of the Spanish Cardinal, Don Gil de Albornoz, 
Bishop of Santa Sabina, Legate of the Holy See, and 
Vicar-General in Italy of the estates of the Church, which 
the terms of Don Lope's will rendered it necessary to 
seek, being the merest formality. In the absence of 
the Cardinal in Italy, his brothers, Fernan Gomez and 
Alvaro Garcia, who were both in the King's service, 
were authorized to conclude the matter, the tender 
ages of the contracting parties necessitating a special 
dispensation, which was speedily forthcoming, since 
the Cardinal de Albornoz was a kinsman of the bride. 
It was not until June, 1372, that the marriage of Don 
Martin and Dona Maria took place at Barcelona. In 
the following July, the former was created Count of 
Exerica, by which title, in addition to that of 
Count of Luna, in right of his wife, he was thenceforth 

The daughters-in-law of the Kings of Aragon, married 
in the lifetime of the latter, and compelled to reside, or 
at least to make frequent appearances at Court, had a 
difficult role to fill, even when the Queen regnant was 
most friendly disposed towards her sons' wives. While 
Dona Leonor of Sicily lived, there is every reason to 
suppose that both her daughters-in-law, Dona Matha and 
Dona Maria, lived on excellent terms with her and with 
each other, meriting her affectionate remembrance of 
them both in her will, in common with her own daughters 
and nieces. But when the part of Queen was played, 
first, virtually, and then, actually, by Dona Sibilia de 
Forcia, nothing remained for the two sisters-in-law but to 
withdraw themselves from the Court over which that 
haughty and illiterate beauty now ruled. Both had 
plausible and politic reasons to advance for that with- 
drawal in the claims of their young families and the 
necessity for their husbands to reside on their estates of 
Gerona and Montblanch. 

The ancient walled and now ruined town of Mont- 
blanch, the Villasalva of an earlier date, had been 


founded in the reign of Kamon Berenger IV, in 1155, 
and was erected in 1387 into a Duchy which gave his 
title to Don Pedro's second son. In this old city of the 
Two Waters, as it was sometimes called, from its site 
between the rivers Francoli and Anguera, the Duke and 
Duchess of Montblanch passed the early years of their 
married life, immediately after the death of Queen 
Leonor. Even after Don Martin's accession to the 
throne, both husband and wife kept a tender memory 
of the town and of its inhabitants, of the nuns of the 
Convent of Santa Maria de la Serra, a foundation 
specially under royal protection, as well as of the Jews, 
to whom, in 1391, Maria de Luna, then become Queen 
of Aragon, granted special privileges, they being, as 
she states in the charter, " the treasure of the Lord and 
of our House." Within the enclosure of its frowning 
towers and four gates, she was within a few miles' 
distance of the Pantheon of Poblet, known to the modern 
world only as one of the loveliest ruined cloisters in 
existence, but venerated in the time of the Duchess of 
Montblanch as the Escorial of the Kings of Aragon. 
Here, it may be, she, too, hoped to be laid to rest, not 
as Queen, an honour which then, seemed remote from her, 
but as humbler Infanta of Aragon. 

Maria de Luna was not to escape, shielded and sur- 
rounded as she was by fortress walls and shrines of 
prayer, the bitterness of bereavement, the Kachel's 
doom which rested so heavily on the daughters-in-law 
of Don Pedro IV. Of the four children whom she bore 
to Don Martin, one only, afterwards to be known as 
Martin the Younger, King of Sicily, attained to manhood. 
Two sons, Jaime and Juan, and a daughter, Margarita, 
died in infancy, and were interred in the Monastery of 
Val de Christo. If we seek the sole remembrance of 
these royal children, elsewhere than in their mother's 
never-forgetting heart, we must turn the pages of King 
Martin's Inventory, made long after, and read therein 
of "a child's coral, with a silver ring," of " a little silver 
chain, and a few amber beads a child's playthings." 


For the only surviving son of the Duke and Duchess 
of Montblanch, Don Pedro IV reserved a brilliant 
destiny, which was, however, to rob Maria de Luna in 
life as she had already been robbed by death. The 
destiny in question was the sovereignty of Sicily, through 
his marriage with its youthful Queen, Maria, only daugh- 
ter and heiress of King Fadrique and his Queen, Con- 
stanza, herself a Princess of Aragon. Queen Maria had 
been left by her father to the care of the valiant and 
devoted servant of his House, Don Artal de Alagon, who 
purposed marrying her to Giovanni Galeozzo, a nephew 
of the Duke of Milan. Martin of Montblanch, however, 
falling in with his father's wishes as docilely as his 
brother, the Duke of Gerona, had flouted them in the 
matter of this identical alliance, secured the prize for 
his son, who passed thenceforth into the history of 
Sicily, having but little concern from that time with the 
affairs of Aragon. His mother saw him sail, accom- 
panied by hi^ father, from the port of Barcelona in 1398, 
attended by a hundred ships of war, under the command 
of Admiral the Viscount of Cabrera, and of Vice- Admiral 
Berenger de Cruilles. For their signal services on this 
occasion, it was ordered that the ships forming the 
royal escort should thenceforth bear no other banner or 
pennon than those with the device of the Counts of 

The household of the Duke and Duchess of Mont- 
blanch was ever a refuge for those in distress, whether 
of mind, body, or estate. Both husband and wife knew 
how to attract to their service, and grapple to their 
side with hooks of steel, those who had first stood in 
need of their generous shelter and support. Thus we 
find them, at the risk of incurring the paternal wrath 
of Don Pedro IV, giving their protection to the rebellious 
and fugitive wife of the famous Sir Hugh Calverley, of 
the Free Companies, that " man of teeth and hand who 
could feed as much as two and fight as much as ten 
men/' and " whose quick and strong appetite could 
digest anything but an injury." Again, it is Don Martin 


and Dona Maria de Luna who befriend the latter '& 
sister, Brianda de Luna, in her long matrimonial suit 
with her husband, Don Lope Ximenez de Urrea, and 
by their powerful intercession with the King secure for 
her her eventual freedom from a detested conjugal yoke. 
In their Palace at Valencia, more than one young girl 
of noble birth learned manners to match her rank in that 
kindly school ; one of them, Dona Margarita de Prades, 
of the blood royal, was to succeed her royal mistress as 
Queen of Aragon. And when, in 1388, the young Queen, 
Maria, of Sicily, was brought to Spain in order that her 
astute grandfather might the more promptly bestow 
her in marriage as he willed, the young sovereign, fresh 
from virtual captivity, must have turned with grateful 
joy to the motherly welcome that awaited her in the 
household of Maria de Luna. 

Whether the Duchess of Montblanch withdrew, after 
her husband's departure, to the retirement of his duchy, 
where the cloisters of Poblet would be within beckoning 
reach with their treasures of healing peace, is unknown. 
She was at least no stranger to the citizens of Barcelona. 
It was no alien to their hearts and hopes who kept the 
throne of Aragon in safety for Don Martin, when his 
absence, at the moment of his brother's death without 
male heirs, left that throne at the mercy of a swarm of 
competing foes. Maria de Luna, who may not have 
shone at the brilliant Court of her brother and sister-in- 
law, Don Juan I and Dona Violante of Bar, had doubtless 
endeared herself to the people of Barcelona by many an 
unobtrusive act of quiet kindness, many a secret alms- 
giving, which proved the keys to open, not a heavenly, 
but an earthly kingdom to her. Her regency, less pro- 
longed and possibly less arduous than that of Maria of 
Navarre, opened with sinister signals of storm on every 
hand. The death of Juan I placed the wife of the absent 
Don Martin in a position of peculiar difficulty. Barce- 
lona at least recognized none. Without a moment's 
hesitation, the representatives of the city proceeded in a 
body to kiss the new Queen's hand, thus acclaiming her 


regent of the kingdom until her consort's return from 
Sicily. Had not Barcelona given this signal proof of 
love and loyalty, an example which was instantly 
followed by all the magnates of the realm, the succession 
would undoubtedly have passed, in the absence of Don 
Martin, to one of the contending claimants for his 
crown. Following upon the private acclamation of the 
new Queen came the more public acknowledgment of 
her sovereignty in her being conducted, with all the 
solemnity of a popular recognition of her claims, to the 
Palace of the Kings of Aragon, where the widowed, and 
now Dowager Queen, Violante, announcing that she was 
about to give birth to a possible heir to the throne, 
refused to be dispossessed by her sister-in-law. Probably 
at the politic persuasions of Maria de Luna herself, the 
term of Queen Violante's rule in the Palace was pro- 
longed, a bodyguard of matrons of noble birth being 
appointed, as we have seen, to be in constant attendance 
upon her, pending the birth of the anticipated Infante or 
Infanta, these " discreet and honourable ladies " being 
chosen by the municipality of Barcelona, in order to 
secure the succession against the fraud of which they 
were quite prepared to believe the French Queen 
never a favourite in her husband's kingdom capable. 
Urgent letters of recall were meanwhile despatched to 
Don Martin, by Queen Maria and by his subjects. It 
was actually two years, however, before he returned to 
claim his throne. The queenship of Maria de Luna, 
meanwhile, was no bed of roses. Even when the claims 
of her sister-in-law had been proved spurious, and Queen 
Maria had been left in sole possession of the Palace, those 
of the Count and Countess of Foix continued sufficiently 
menacing. Entering Catalonian territory, the pretenders' 
troops seized Barbastro, but were forced to surrender, 
Maria de Luna, with admirable clemency, having given 
orders that a battle was to be avoided, but that the town 
was to be surrounded, and supplies cut ofL The Count 
and Countess, thus repulsed, escaped from Barbastro, 
and took refuge in Navarre. 


Thenceforth, until her husband's return from Sicily, 
Maria de Luna, a true mother of her people, amply 
demonstrated to those who doubted that a weak woman's 
body could house so virile and magnanimous a soul, 
that the contrary was, happily for Catalonia, the case. 
Bernat de Metge aptly compares her in his satirical 
" Dream " to the wise and resolute Penelope mourning 
her errant Ulysses ; but the mourning was in the rare 
secrecy of a Queen's leisure ; there was too much to be 
done in public to leave space or time for tears. " Acting 
in all things most courageously/' as the old historian 
writes, the Queen's first care was, not only to put the 
defences of the kingdom under her immediate care in 
good order, but also to despatch reinforcements to Don 
Martin in Sicily. All this was done with the quiet 
resolution of a strong woman, who, we may well believe, 
was as little deterred from her duty by fear of failure 
as she was unterrified by those great convulsions of 
nature, earthquakes and " prodigious signs in the air/' 
which marked the year 1396 in Valencia. 

Not until April 13, 1399, was Maria de Luna an eye- 
witness of the coronation, a week before her own, of 
her husband, King Martin. Detained in Sicily for more 
than a year after the death of his brother, King Juan I, 
Don Martin had not arrived in Zaragoza until October, 
1397, in which city, accompanied by the Queen, he 
took the oath before the Justiciar of Aragon, in the 
Cathedral of La Seo. The coronation of the King, 
delayed by various causes, was finally fixed for the 
Sunday within the Octave of Easter, 1399. It was 
determined that the ceremony should be attended by 
the most magnificent pomp and circumstance. Great 
preparations were set afoot, ambassadors being de- 
spatched even as far as Sicily, in search of jewels and 
costly stuffs. The Archdeacon of Zaragoza was specially 
deputed to make request to the Church authorities of 
Palermo for the loan of the sword of the Emperor 
Constantine, said to be preserved in that edifice, that 
with it the King of Aragon might arm the knights who, 


according to custom, were to receive the accolade on the 
day of the coronation. It is not known, however, says 
Blancas, whether Don Ponce de Tahuste, as the Arch- 
deacon was named, ever accomplished his task. There 
was no lack of splendour in consequence. 

The courtyard of the Aljaferia, where the King 
lodged, was hung with the richest arras cloths, and, 
" to shade the company from the heat," covered in 
with canvas in red and yellow stripes, with the Royal 
Arms of Aragon. Within this mediaeval marquee 
stood two rows of tables, that for the King placed on a 
wooden platform, raised four steps from the floor ; 
over it was a rich canopy of crimson velvet embroidered 
with gold, the chair of state being similarly covered. 
Close by, stood the King's dresser, with all the necessary 
gold and silver ware for the service of the royal table. 
In front of the dresser, stood an exquisite fountain, with 
three jets, from which issued water, red wine, and white. 
At each corner of the enclosure were other dressers for 
the use of the guests. Another awning of blue and white 
striped canvas was stretched across the smaller patio, 
near the entrance to the Marble Hall. Within the 
Palace, the walls were hung with the finest tapestries ; 
the Hall known as that of the Hangings, in which was 
the King's bed, having curtains of crimson velvet 
embroidered with gold and the Royal Arms, the hang- 
ings of this apartment, from which it took its name, 
being of cloth of gold and of brocade. At three o'clock 
in the afternoon, the Queen and her ladies looked down 
from the galleries of the Palace on a great concourse 
of prelates, nobles, grandees, knights, esquires, and the 
syndics of the towns and cities, who arrived attended 
by troops of minstrels playing on trumpets and kettle- 
drums, to escort the King to La Seo. 

At a given signal, he emerged from his apartments, 
wearing a mantle of cloth of gold and crimson velvet, 
in stripes, with ermine trimmings. Under this mantle 
the King wore a surcoat or short soutane, with several 
pleats, the sleeves wide. On his head he wore a small 


cap or chaplet, trimmed with pearls and precious stones 
of great value. Passing from the Hall of the Hangings 
through the Marble Hall, he took his seat on a chair of 
state beneath a canopy, surrounded by his Court. 
Thereafter, calling to him Don Juan de Cardona, 
Admiral of Aragon, he gave him the accolade, and so 
with several others. To Don Antonio de Luna he com- 
mitted the Royal Standard, and the banner of St. George 
to the Master of Montesa, who handed it to Fray Ramon 
del Jardin, Commander-in-chief of the Order, the 
banners being afterwards borne before the King on his 
progress to the Cathedral. This being done, the King 
proceeded to the door of the Palace, where his horse, 
superbly caparisoned with trappings of crimson velvet 
and cloth of gold to match the royal robes, awaited 
him, and mounting, the procession set forth. 

First came numerous dancers, taken from the different 
trades guilds of the city, all in gala dress. After these 
came twelve bordonadores (who threw darts, instead of 
shooting, at a mark), and six tablageros, all mounted on 
fine horses with trappings of red silk, worked with the 
Royal Arms and many lions, which are the arms of the 
city of Zaragoza. Next, two and two, rode those who 
had been armed knights that day, the Aragonese and 
the Valencians on the right, and the Catalans and 
Mallorcans on the left. Before each knight rode an 
esquire carrying his sword and spurs, another fol- 
lowing with his shield ; if the knight were noble, 
his esquire also bore his standard or banner ; which, 
as Blancas vows, was " a most beautiful sight to 

Noblest of all the noble knights was Don Alfonso of 
Aragon, Marquis of Villena, on whom the King had that 
day bestowed the title of Duke of Gandia, a title destined 
to be borne two centuries later by the House of Borgia. 
Clad in crimson velvet, like his sovereign, the newly 
created Duke rode a magnificent horse, attended by 
the gentlemen of his household, all on foot, his grandson, 
Don Alfonso, who rode before him, carrying his sombrero, 


or barretillo, made of crimson velvet, with a chaplet of 
pearls, which was the ducal insignia, his banner being 
borne by his nephew. Following the Royal Standard 
came a long procession of grandees and gentlemen, 
then a great wooden castle, with five lighted candles, 
one in each of the corners, and one larger than the rest 
in the middle. This was followed by twelve gentlemen 
on foot, clad in velvet, and carrying as many lighted 
tapers, painted with the Royal Arms. Last of all the 
long procession of knights, nobles, grandees, syndics, 
and gentlemen, came the Archbishops, Bishops, and 
Abbots. Entering the city by the north-west gate, 
known as El Portillo, immortalized in later years by 
the exploits of the heroic Maid of Zaragoza, a pause was 
made in the market-place in order that the bordonadores 
and tablageros might give an exhibition of their skill 
before the King. At the conclusion of the performance, 
the journey to the Cathedral was resumed. Owing to 
the many detours, however, La Seo was not reached 
until two o'clock in the morning. Night was turned into 
day by the thousands of torches, tapers, and other 
lights which lit up the streets through which the pro- 
cession passed, all the houses being decorated with gaily 
coloured hangings, such as, under the name of reposteros, 
have always played so large a part in gala decoration 
in Spain. Having been received at the door of the 
Cathedral by an imposing array of ecclesiastics, the King 
was conducted to his royal throne on the right side of 
the altar ; a collation of wine and sweetmeats was 
served ; the latter offered by the Marquis de Villena, 
the cupbearer being the Count de Prades, of the blood 
royal, both kinsmen of the King, the latter father of 
Dona Margarita de Prades, whom we shall see later in 
the coronation train of Maria de Luna, and later still 
as the second wife of Don Martin. At the conclusion 
of this repast, the King withdrew to the apartment 
prepared for him in the cloisters, where he rested that 
night, his suite and all who had accompanied him 
returning meanwhile to their homes, with the exception 


of those who had just been made knights, and who kept 
the customary vigil of arms in the different chapels of 
the Cathedral. At dawn, all were astir. From every 
quarter of the city those privileged to witness the cere- 
mony flocked to La Seo. The Queen rode from the 
Aljaferia, the most interested spectator of all, riding a 
white horse covered with trappings of white aceytuni 
a sumptuous fabric much in vogue in the Middle Ages 
and wearing a robe of cloth of gold and a long mantle. 
She was accompanied by Violante, Queen of Naples, 
betrothed to Louis II of that kingdom, and by the 
Infanta Isabel, her sister-in-law, the only daughter of 
the fourth and last marriage of Pedro IV with Sibilia de 
Forcia. For these royal ladies and the glittering train 
of dames and damsels in attendance upon them, places 
were reserved in the body of the Cathedral between the 
High Altar and the choir. 

The full account of this, one of the most magnificent 
coronations ever witnessed in Zaragoza, may be found 
in the diverting pages of Blancas, this volume being 
more intimately concerned with the Queens of Aragon 
than with their consorts. Maria de Luna, who doubtless 
preceded the King on the return journey to the Alja- 
feria, which was reached " at the hour of Vespers/' 
entertained at supper, while the King ate in public 
in the patio of the Palace, Don Jaime of Aragon, Bishop 
of Valencia, Cardinal of the Holy Koman Church, " who 
was a great servant of God/' the Queen of Naples, the 
Infanta Isabel, and Dona Brianda d'Agouth, Countess 
of Luna, mother of the Queen, together with two ladies 
of the blood royal, Dona Juana and Dona Margarita de 
Prades. The meal was served in the apartment known 
as the Hall of the Chimney. Besides the Queen's table, 
there were several others at which sat many noble 
dames and damsels, both of the Court and of the city, 
with a few ancient cavaliers. In striking contrast, 
meanwhile, to the seclusion and simplicity of this 
repast, the King's supper went forward in the adjoining 
patio. The flourish of trumpets with which the repast 


began would come as a distant sound to the ears of his 
Queen and her noble guests ; they would scarcely catch 
a passing glint of the golden eagle which, borne before 
the Duke of Gandia, majordomo of the feast, ushered 
in the first of the courses. Nor would they be actual 
eye-witnesses of that " representation of a starry sky " 
which had been erected in the roof of the dining-hall, 
crowded with rank upon rank of saints holding palms 
in their hands, and at the summit " God the Father 
surrounded by a great multitude of Seraphim, who 
with sweet voices sang many villancicos and canzones in 
praise and honour of this feast." From the starry 
height presently descended the appearance of a cloud, 
which rested on the royal buffet, and, parting asunder, 
disclosed an angel which sang marvellously, and scat- 
tered amongst the company lyrics and couplets, all in 
honour of the day's solemnity, some on red, others on 
yellow, others on blue paper. The angel then re- 
entered the cloud, whence he emerged once more 
carrying a gilt basin for the King to wash his hands in 
before eating, which the angel delivered to two others, 
who stood beside the dresser, and who in turn handed 
it to the knights whose office it was to " serve the towel," 
as this duty was called. Again the angel re-entered the 
cloud, and again he reappeared, the second time carry- 
ing a dish of fruit, and the third time the cup from which 
the King was to drink during supper. Weird masques 
preceded the serving of each course : " a great and very 
life-like serpent, belching flames, surrounded by armed 
men, who, with loud cries, sought to slay it " ; " and a 
rock on the summit of which was a wounded leopard." 
From this rock leapt into the patio rabbits, hares, 
partridges, turtle-doves, and other kinds of birds, which 
flew in all directions, and also a few wild boars, with 
which the company were much diverted. The armed 
men who had previously attacked the leopard now 
sought to slay the wounded leopard, but were prevented 
by men disguised as savages, a mimic battle following. 
From the leopard's wound now issued a beautiful boy, 


clad in the Royal Arms, with a crown on his head and a 
naked sword in his right hand, in sign of victory, and 
singing most sweetly. The feast then went on to its 
close, which was at two o'clock in the night. The 
King, rising from the table, congratulated the com- 
batants, and proceeding to the Marble Hall, gave the 
signal for dancing to begin. It is assumed that at this 
point the Queen, the Infantas, and the other ladies, 
joined the company. On their arrival, the King opened 
the ball, his lords and esquires following, and having, 
presumably, the Queens, the Infantas, and the other 
ladies for partners, although, adds Blancas, in his 
account, it is not so stated. At the conclusion of the 
dancing, a collation was served, whereupon the King 
withdrew to the Hall of the Hangings, where his bed 
was, his guests meanwhile departing to their several 
homes, the Palace remaining a blaze of light with its 
myriads of torches, tapers, and wax candles. Very 
early next morning the crowds who had but lately 
taken their leave of their royal host were once more on 
the scene. For the King, the day began with his atten- 
dance at Mass in the Chapel of Santa Maria clad in a 
surcoat and mantle of crimson velvet, furred with 
ermine. The Chapel was sumptuously bedecked with 
hangings of silk and cloth of gold. At the conclusion of 
the Mass, the tables were once more arranged in the 
courtyards, and the feast and " invitations " repeated 
as on the previous day. Dancing was also repeated, 
and a third day was spent in the same manner. The 
citizens were entertained on each of the three days with 
dancing, bull-fights, and exhibitions of skill on the 
part of the bordonadores and taUageros. The King 
did not leave the Palace until the Sunday following his 
coronation, when he once more visited La Seo in state. 
On April 22, the Feast of St. George, the Patron Saint 
of Aragon, was kept with much solemnity, the festival 
being anticipated by a few days, we are told, in order 
that the preparations for the coronation of the Queen 
should not be interfered with. 


At the hour of Vespers on Tuesday, April 22, 1399, 
Dona Maria de Luna, the third Queen of Aragon to be 
publicly crowned in the Cathedral of Zaragoza, awaited 
in her robing-room at the Palace of the Aljaferia, the 
noble and splendidly attired train of lords spiritual and 
temporal, of ladies and maidens of the city, who were 
to escort her on her royal progress to La Seo, as they 
had escorted Don Martin the week before. As soon as 
word had been brought to the Queen that all were 
assembled in the Marble Hall, " she came forth, wearing 
a saya of cloth of silver, and over it a large and trailing 
mantle trimmed with ermine." Taking her seat on 
the royal canopied chair which had been prepared for 
her, she witnessed the dancing of the Queen of Naples, 
the Infanta Isabel, and the other ladies of the Court 
and city, and then, accompanied by her kinswomen, 
and surrounded by her ladies, proceeded to the gate of 
the Aljaferia, where her white palfrey stood with its 
" very splendid trappings of white aceytuni." As soon 
as the Queen had mounted, the procession, identical, 
for pomp and detail, with that of Don Martin in the 
previous week, set forth. 

First came the dancers representative of the various 
trades guilds of the city ; next, twenty-four bordona- 
dores, half in green silk, and half in red, with six tiro- 
dores, all in green, all thirty mounted on fine horses, 
the colour of their trappings matching the costume of 
their riders, and embroidered with shields bearing the 
arms of the city, which were lions. Next, on horseback 
also, came the chief prelates of the kingdom, the Arch- 
bishop of Zaragoza, several Bishops and Abbots, the 
Duke of Gandia, and other Ricos Hombres of the realm. 
Then came two of the Queen's palfreys, bridled and 
harnessed, with ornaments of gold and silver and 
precious stones, led by two noble gentlemen. After 
these came a great troop of minstrels and trumpeters, 
and then a great castle of wood, " very well made and 
painted white, with four tall candles burning at the 
corners and one larger than the rest in the centre." 


This was carried by twelve sons of knights on foot, with 
torches burning before the Queen, who was attended 
by her splendid retinue, all on foot. The Queen of 
Naples and the other ladies rode on handsome palfreys. 
The streets through which the procession passed pre- 
sented the same appearance as on the day of the 
King's coronation, torches and tapers turning night into 
day, houses being hung with arras cloths, and music 
and dancing being again features of the route. Arrived 
at the Cathedral, it being now two o'clock in the morn- 
ing, the Queen was received by the Archbishop, who 
had, apparently, detached himself at some point from 
the procession, and the other Bishops and Prelates, 
who, having conducted her to her appointed seat at 
the right side of the High Altar, and recited the set 
prayers, offered her the customary collation. The 
Queen then withdrew to the apartment which had been 
prepared for her, where she rested that night. The next 
morning, very early, the ceremony of the coronation 
was performed, in every essential precisely as was that 
of the Bang. The ladies in immediate attendance on 
the Queen, in addition to the Princesses, were Dona 
Margarita de Prades, who w r as afterwards to be her 
successor, Dona Juana de Luna, Dona Leonora de 
Cerbellon, and Dona Juana de Perellos. Assisted by 
these ladies, the Queen assumed the sacerdotal vest- 
ments which had been previously solemnly blessed by 
the Archbishop. At this point, the King arrived from 
the Aljaferia, where he had passed the night, and, 
entering the sacristy, put on his royal robes and the 
insignia of his state, as he had worn them on the day 
of his own coronation. With the crown on his head, the 
sceptre in his right hand, and the orb in his left, he 
proceeded to the chair of state which had been placed 
for him on a dais. The Queen was now conducted from 
the chapel which had served her as a robing-room, with 
the Bishops and her ladies in attendance, the Queen 
of Naples carrying the crown, [the Infanta Isabel the 
sceptre, and a lady named Dona Guiomar the orb, these 


three walking before her. As she knelt before the King, 
the latter, taking the crown from the silver dish in 
which it was borne by the Queen of Naples, placed it 
upon the head of his consort, gave the sceptre into her 
right hand and the orb into her left, and finally put 
a splendid diamond ring on her finger, the Archbishop 
meanwhile reciting the appointed prayers, from the 
Form of Ordination. At the close, the King kissed the 
Queen's cheek, and the Queen kissed the King's hand. 
The Queen was then conducted to her chair of state, 
where she sat during the singing of a solemn Te Deum, 
having the Queen of Naples on one hand and the 
Infanta Isabel on the other. Afterwards, the King 
armed three knights, Don Luis Cornel, Mossen Pedro 
Canoguera, and Mossen Martin Lopez de Lanuza, and 
this ceremony concluded he withdrew to the sacristy, 
where he laid aside his royal robes, and rode back, 
with a small suite, to the Aljaferia. The Queen re- 
mained before the altar until the conclusion of the 
Mass, when she was conducted to the west door of La 
Seo to start on her return journey to the Palace. Mount- 
ing her white palfrey once more, a rich canopy was 
held over her by citizens of Zaragoza, while the Duke 
of Gandia and other nobles of Valencia and Aragon 
led her horse on the right-hand side, Catalan and Mallor- 
can nobles, led by the Count of Ampurias, walking on 
the left. None but the Queen rode, and owing to the 
density of the crowds in the streets, and the numerous 
detours made by the procession, in order that as many 
of the citizens as possible might have an opportunity 
of greeting the newly crowned Queen, it was at a late 
hour that the brilliant company at length entered the 
courtyard of the Aljaferia. As soon as the Queen had 
exchanged her coronation robes for others no less 
sumptuous, but less sacerdotal, all sat down to the 
customary repast. The Palace was now one blaze of 
lights. As was the custom, the Queen ate alone, on 
a raised dais, so that she might be seen by all her 
guests. Her majordomo was the Count of Ampurias, 


his son, Don Pedro de Ampurias, the cupbearer, other 
noble gentlemen fulfilling various other menial offices, 
as was usual on similar occasions. We are not told 
whether the company were entertained by any " inven- 
tions," such as had been provided at the coronation 
banquet of the King, nor whether the King himself 
was present ; the feast concluded, however, with the 
adjournment of the guests to the Marble Hall, where 
dancing took place and a collation was served, as on the 
previous occasion. That day and the next, the Queen 
kept open house, as Don Martin had done the week 
before, feasting and dancing being resumed on each 
evening. Although there is no special mention of 
jongleurs, it is more than probable that they made 
their appearance on one or more days at the festivities, 
were it only in honour of the Queen's mother, Brianda 
dAgouth, Countess of Luna, a famous patroness of the 
troubadours of her day. 

The accession of Martin the Humane to the throne 
of Aragon gave to his people a King and Queen whose 
tastes and temper were far more in harmony with the 
mould of gravity in which the national character was 
cast, and with the vein of seriousness which ran through 
all their culture, than those of his predecessor, the 
" Lover of Elegance/' and his French wife, had ever 
been. Martin, indeed, seemed peculiarly fitted to be the 
leader of the intellectual movement which, at the mo- 
ment of his ascending the throne, had overflowed the 
borders of Castile, to find, more especially in the graver 
branches of learning, a congenial soil for its growth and 
expansion in the sister kingdom. That thirst for know- 
ledge which was characteristic of Christian Spain in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries received a notable 
impetus from this enlightened monarch. Philosophy 
and medicine were the favourite studies of the scholars 
of Aragon, the latter science, already distinguished by 
the royal favour in the reign of Juan I, who had es- 
tablished professorships of anatomy, being under the 
immediate and special patronage of his successor, who 


founded, at the commencement of his reign, a school 
of medicine which, according to contemporary docu- 
ments, conferred the degrees of doctor, licentiate, and 
bachelor of medicine, and was honoured, in 1400, by 
the approbation of Pope Benedict XIII, a native of 
Aragon, and a kinsman of Don Martin's Queen, having 
been known, before his election to the Chair of St. Peter, 
on September 28, 1394, as Pedro de Luna. Among the 
long list of medical practitioners in Barcelona during 
this reign, appear not only Christian, but Jewish 
names, both of men and women. Bonposc Bonfill, who 
translated the works of Galen and Hippocrates into 
Hebrew, was a native of Barcelona, while a medical 
author of some repute was a Jew of Lerida, named 
Rabbi Galab. The trend of thought amongst these 
early practitioners was, says Senor Don Rafael Alta- 
mira y Crevea, towards the experimental rather than 
the deductive, while the foundation in 1401 of the 
Hospital of Santa Cruz at Barcelona, in which, perhaps, 
may be traced some of the influence of Maria de Luna, 
marked a still further step in the progress of medical 
science along these lines. Eight years later saw the 
establishment at Valencia of the first lunatic asylum, 
which was founded by the piety of the mendicant friar, 
Fr. Juan Jofre Gailabert. 

Professorships of theology, of grammar, of Hebrew 
and Arabic, existed in various Aragonese towns and 
cities, chiefly in the monasteries under Dominican rule, 
while documentary evidence of the period attests the 
existence of schools established by municipal initiative. 
At foreign Universities, Aragonese and Catalan pro- 
fessors taught side by side with Castilians. 

Light flashes on the character of the Humane King 
from between the lines of his Inventory. The long list 
of his personal possessions witnesses to his non-exemp- 
tion from the ruling passions of his age. Soldier as he 
is, he has his perfuming-dish, of Moorish design, in the 
shape of a tower, with a lantern, standing on eight 
feet, together with phials, caskets, and sachets, of 


balsam, civet, amber, violet, and musk, many of which, 
however, were probably reminiscent of the boudoirs of 
his two Queens. Like his brother, Don Juan I, King 
Martin was also a great chess and draught player. 
In his library, we find two or three handbooks to these 
games, while the boards for both, which figure in the 
Inventory, were as numerous as they must have been 
artistic in appearance, some being in the form of little 
tables with silver feet, with chessmen of jasper, crystal, 
chalcedony, horn, or glass. Nor was the King entirely 
free from that prevailing belief of his times in the 
efficacy of the horn of the mythical unicorn as a safe- 
guard against poison ; Don Martin owned " a piece of 
unicorn's horn set in a silver ring/' In his library, he 
had, doubtless, read of the origin of the myth, which 
emanated from one Ctesias, a learned Greek physician, 
who wrote four centuries before the birth of Christ. 
The German traveller Heutzner tells us that Queen 
Elizabeth owned a similar talisman, valued at 10,000. 
The Inventory of Martin the Humane lays claim to 
a still more unique possession a reputed Holy Grail, 
being " a golden chalice, with two handles and a foot, 
in which were set two garnets, two emeralds, and 
twenty-eight pearls." To the religious side of the King's 
life correspond his silver benitiers, rosaries of wood, 
coral, amber, and crystal ; a casket of glass, for the 
Epiphany offering ; a silver-gilt chalice and paten ; 
a Bible, bound in crimson leather ; several missals, 
with the same binding and silver clasps ; ampullas with 
the threefold oil for chrism, for the sick, and for 
catechumens. The chapel furniture includes chair- 
covers of silk embroidered with golden roses, and 
chasubles of blue damask and gold brocade. A notable 
reliquary is a coffer of jasper and porphyry, in the shape 
of a tomb, and in it a coffin of silver, lined with green 
velvet, with a crystal ball embossed on it, and a gold 
crown above set with a large balas ruby and several 
pearls, and in the ball a piece of the sponge associated 
with the Crucifixion. Martin the student, again, has 


his folding reading-desk, his inkstand enamelled in 
different colours " emaulx d'Aragon " made in the 
shape of a tower, and above it a cupola, with the Royal 
Standard, and over the doorway a window and a cross, 
with the Blessed Virgin and St. John ; another being of 
cypress wood, inlaid, and his goose-quill, the handle 
worked with silk and gold thread. His penknives are 
as numerous as they are artistic, the handles being of 
coral, silver, wood, and glass, most of them enclosed 
in sheaths or cases. His household effects once dis- 
played upon the stately buffets in the great hall of the 
Palace at Barcelona include hanaps, goblets, bowls, 
and drageoirs of glass and silver, with the Arms of 
Aragon and Sicily emblazoned thereon, carafes and 
coolers, damascened trays, vases " to hold lilies/' silver 
forks or skewers for eating ginger, spoons for ceremonial 
or common use, some with bowls of mother-of-pearl 
and silver handles, some of gold, set with sapphires 
and pearls, others of coral. For bedroom use there are 
wooden candlesticks, ewers, slippers of red and green 
silk, a linen dressing-gown with seven rows of gold 
trimming. In his jewel-case are rings set with cornelian, 
amber, coral, and jacinth, buttons of pearl and coral 
and turquoise, points of red and green with silver-gilt 
aiglets, while a flute in a red case was, perhaps, the gift 
or the souvenir of some Court singer. The walls of the 
Palace were hung on great occasions with his tapestries 
depicting St. George, Moses, the Holy Sepulchre, 
St. John, the Crucifixion, and Saladin and the Twelve 
Peers of France. 

There is no evidence of Don Martin's ever having 
dabbled in the alchemical pursuits which his brother 
found so enthralling, although his library contained 
several works on astrology. If the same shelves may 
be accepted as testimony, he was more in sympathy 
with those arts of cosmography and navigation in which 
his Mallorcan and Catalan subjects attained to such 
a pitch of excellence during his reign. His Inventory 
contains numerous volumes dealing with both arts. 


Two celebrated authors of Don Martin's times were 
Fr. Anselmo Turmeda, a satirical moralist, who wrote 
A Controversy of the Ass on the Nature and Nobility of 
Animals, and Bernat Metge, to whom we owe a special 
debt of gratitude for his detailed description of the 
dress and manners of the times of Maria de Luna, 
which he embodied in the form of Four Books of Dreams, 
philosophical and moral dialogues. 

From what garrulous duenna of the Court of Dona 
Maria de Luna did Metge, we wonder, wrest those 
secrets of the boudoir and the toilet which he does not 
scruple to betray to us, who come so long after, in his 
piquant pages ? Hear this polished courtier and 
familiar of kings and queens talk learnedly of the paints, 
the pomades, the hair-washes and scents, which were 
indispensable to the dressing-table of the fashionable 
beauty of the period. His indiscreet confidante has 
whispered in his ear of the mysterious properties of 
dried figs, the yolk of egg, of dried beans soaked in 
water, of wine lees and juniper berries to transform 
raven locks to threads of gold, of fleur-de-lis roots for 
pomade, and a thousand other ancient devices of 
woman, ever at war with the arch-enemy of her fair- 
ness, Time, to arrest his conquering steps. Metge 
sweeps aside the portiere that conceals the inmost 
sanctuary of the dressing-room, and bids us stand, 
contemptuous as himself, spectators of the process of 
the toilette, hear the waiting-women soundly rated 
now, because, forsooth, the veil is not securely fastened, 
or false hair and pins are not promptly forthcoming ; 
because the tell-tale double mirror does not give back 
the desired fall of the trailing robe. Woe betide the 
vilaine maladroite who cannot anticipate her capri- 
cious lady's whims ! Off with her to the kitchen, fit 
as she is " only to scale fish and wash up dishes ! " 
And having attended at this daily ceremony " they 
dress," says Metge, " with as much ceremony as 
the Pope when he is about to celebrate a Mass " 
the clear-visioned satirist bids us look deeper still, to 


recoil, with no less contempt, but with even greater 
loathing, from the infamy which he conjures up for us. 
Borrowing his clairvoyant glance, we shall see these 
painted and bedizened belles of a bygone age surrounded 
by a swarming horde of vile hags and hideous crones 
who, under the specious disguise of the much-sought- 
after fortune-teller, made their way into the very apart- 
ments of royalty itself, befouling soul and body and 
poisoning the very air where they went, delighting to 
corrupt the innocence of girlhood as well as to drag the 
fallen woman and the unfaithful wife into a deeper depth 
of degradation. Then, as now, the opening question for 
the witch to answer was the mere frivolous " When 
will my present husband die ? a ' " Am I going to have 
any money ? yi For the first throw of the shuttle which 
was to weave a web of inextricable ruin round the un- 
conscious victim, frivolity sufficed. It was not until 
the deadly poison had worked at many interviews, well 
paid for with gleaming gold, that the startled senses 
began to detect, beneath the mask of the magician, 
the satyr's smile of the procuress. 

An extraordinary fashion in footwear is mentioned 
as " a novelty " in Catalonia in the fourteenth century, 
namely, shoes with enormously long toes, called 
" poleyns " (polaina) from Poland, believed to have 
been the place of their origin, whence they were also 
introduced into England, possibly by some member of 
the Bohemian suite in attendance on Anne, Queen of 
Richard II. Brandt's Stultifem Navis, published in 
1494, contains a picture of a young man wearing these 
poleyns mounted on clogs. In England, where they 
were termed by one writer " devils' claws," they were 
sometimes fastened to the knees with gold or silver 
chains. The clog in all cases projected several inches 
beyond the shoe. 

With the follies of such of her contemporaries as 
Bernat Metge has portrayed greedy of pleasure, of 
food, and finery Dona Maria de Luna had, we may 
well believe, little to do. Life had grown more and more 


serious for her with the weight of years that took from 
her, by death or by distance, those who were dearest to 
her heart. It was the sympathy taught by that best 
teacher of the art, Sorrow, that turned her thoughts 
and the impulses of her generosity towards those un- 
happy serfs whose condition was, she did not fear to 
affirm, a scandal to both Church and State. Ranging 
herself on the side of those who, throughout Europe, 
were then beginning to stir from the torpor of their 
long enslavement, she knew that she must inevitably 
draw down upon her, as she did, the hatred and bitter 
opposition of the nobles. But if ever virtuous woman 
had as her reward the calling blessed of those who rise 
up thus to acclaim her, Maria de Luna won that crown. 
She wears it in the annals of Aragon unshared by any 
other Queen ; though many of them did virtuously, she 
indeed excelled them all. Having fought the battle of 
the serfs, having used her influence always on the side 
of right, having welcomed to her heart and house the 
children, Don Fadrique and Dona Violante of Aragon, 
of her son, King Martin the Younger, by his two 
Sicilian mistresses, Tarsia and Agatha, she laid aside 
the burden of queenship, and passed away at Villareal, 
near Valencia, December 29, 1407, having lived long 
enough to witness, at Valencia, the splendid obsequies, 
as befitted the hope of two kingdoms, of her grandson, 
son of Martin the Younger and of his second Queen, 
Blanche of Navarre herself destined to take her place, 
a few years later, as Queen of Aragon. A year before 
her own death the half-forgotten Queen, Sibilia de 
Forcia, died at Barcelona, while her ancient enemy, 
Juana, Countess of Foix, survived her barely twelve 
months. This Princess, childless by her marriage with 
Matthew, Count of Foix, who was succeeded in his 
countship by his sister, Isabel, had been warmly wel- 
comed and given a residence in Valencia, together 
with an allowance of 3000 golden florins, by the uncle 
against whom she had once raised the standard of 



The story of Dona Margarita de Prades, the second 
wife of King Martin the Humane, more nearly resembles 
that of Mary Tudor, second consort of Louis XII of 
France, than of any other Queen whom we can recall in 
history. Both were torn from the arms of lovers who 
were the elect of their hearts to fulfil a political destiny. 
Both failed to achieve that fulfilment. In both cases, 
the romance of their lives centred, not in the elderly 
and invalid husbands to whom they were sacrificed, but 
in the young and gallant lovers with whom one, at least, 
was eventually united, recent researches, in the other 
case, warranting the belief that the widowhood of Dona 
Margarita de Prades also knew a brief and secret 
splendour of true marriage. 

To an old and broken man, no longer Martin of the 
silver throne, the gay, good-humoured monarch and 
father of his people, mourning the loss of a true help- 
meet, the strong, noble woman who had shared the 
vicissitudes of his restless reign, the tidings, brought to 
him in the summer of 1409, of the death of his only son, 
Martin, heir both to Aragon and Sicily, was the crown- 
ing calamity of his old age. Confronted with the 
thought of civil war that must inevitably be his legacy 
to his people, since he could now no longer hope to leave 
them a successor strong and young enough to take up 
the task that was fast slipping from his own nerveless 
grasp, the King was at the mercy of those who believed 
their counsel to be the salvation of the dual monarchy. 
The way of escape from all the troubles which threatened 
both Sicily and Aragon in the event of the death of their 
childless suzerain, was the re-marriage of the King. 
Two young and beautiful ladies, both near of kin to the 
Royal House, were proposed to their sovereign. The 
claims of the one, Dona Cecilia de Urgel, were speedily 
set aside. To those of the other, Dona Margarita de 


Prades, Juan Martinez de Mengucho, Abbot of Poblet, 
lent all his powerful support. The King had seen her 
grow to her beautiful womanhood at his Queen's side, 
for she had been brought up, as we have seen, in the 
household of Dona Maria de Luna, and had attended 
her royal mistress to her coronation. One obstacle, and 
one alone, there only to be swept aside, stood between 
Don Martin and Dona Margarita. The latter had given 
her heart, and was about to give her hand, to a young 
and gallant knight, Don Juan de Vilaregut. She was 
called from the dream of an obscure happiness, at the 
side of the man she loved, to mount a throne beside a 
valetudinarian husband. What pressure was brought 
to bear upon her, we know not. The marriage was 
solemnized at the King's pleasure-house of Bellosguart, 
near Barcelona, the nuptial Mass being said, Septem- 
ber 17, 1409, by the saintly Vincente Ferrer, already 
widely venerated for the miracles that were to secure 
his canonization. But for his native Aragon, the holy 
friar could work no miracle, as indeed it would have 
been, that should give to Don Martin and his people the 
desire of their hearts. It was an ill-omened marriage- 
altar which was lit, as it were, by the funeral tapers that 
flickered round the bier of the bridegroom's dead son. 
To give an heir to Martin, last of the illustrious dynasty 
of the Counts of Barcelona, was not to be granted even 
to the intercession of Pope Benedict the Twelfth, who 
had travelled specially from Perpignan to bestow his 
benediction on the royal spouses. In the midst of the 
wedding festivities an ill-timed embassy presented it- 
self at the Court of Aragon, ostensibly charged with the 
conveyance of the condolences of Louis, King of Sicily, 
and Dona Violante his Queen, Don Martin's niece, on 
the occasion of the death of his son, but in reality 
secretly instructed to press upon the King's notice the 
claims of Queen Violante's son, Louis, whom his father 
and mother were willing to send to Barcelona, to be 
educated there, to the throne of Aragon. With an out- 
burst of his old, hot-headed vigour, the newly wedded 


monarch drove the impertinent ambassadors from his 
presence. The youth and loveliness of his bride had 
almost given him back his lost hopes for the future. It 
was a hope destined to be cruelly defeated. As month 
after month went by, bringing no word of joyful ex- 
pectancy from the bridal chamber, competitors for the 
throne sprang up on all sides like armed men. Dearest 
to the King's heart was the bastard of his dead son, 
Don Fadrique, but there were more righteous claims. 
From the clamour of hungry voices that flocked like 
birds of prey around the infirm and bewildered King, he 
sought refuge, as meaner men have often sought it, 
in a hobby. Few have been so splendid as King Martin's, 
although the merest memory survives of that " veritable 
jewel of architecture" over which, when completed, 
Dona Margarita de Prades was to have reigned as 
Queen. That dream in stone, unfulfilled, still known, 
amongst the ruins of the cloisters of Poblet, as King 
Martin's Palace, would have been worthy of her beauty. 
But death stayed the hand of the royal builder, and 
on May 31, 1410, Dona Margarita's patient watch 
beside a dying man's couch, pitiful, if not tender, came 
to an end, and the palace remained unfinished. Upon 
the House of Aragon, which Don Martin left heirless and 
defenceless, immediately broke the full fury of those 
prolonged storms which he had foreseen, but was power- 
less to avert, and in which the gracious beauty of his 
young widow vanishes from our gaze. History sweeps 
aside the curtain, it is true, at intervals, bidding us 
gaze upon her in the strict retirement imposed upon the 
dowagers of the Royal House, petitioning Parliament 
to grant her the allowance to which her state entitled 
her, and giving orders for the taking of the Inventory 
of the late King four months after his death. 

It has remained for Serlor Don Victor Balaguer, how- 
ever, to suggest that the royal widow found consolation, 
though secretly, lest her action should cost her the 
emoluments of her rank, in her union with the Charles 
Brandon of her romance, the faithful knight, Don Juan 


de Vilaregut. According to this authority, Dona Mar- 
garita bore to Don Juan a son, who, at the age of seven 
or eight, was committed to the care of the Abbot of 
Poblet by his father, on the eve of his departure for 
Naples, where, in 1435, he was majordomo in the 
household of Alfonso V. At an earlier date, Dona 
Margarita de Prades had presumably entered religion, 
for in 1424 a document bears the signature of " Mar- 
garita the Queen, nun of Valdoncellas." At a still later 
date, she was Abbess of Bonrepos, where she died, but 
she was interred at her death, in 1451, at the Convent 
of Santas Creus, where her tomb bore both Koyal Arms 
and crozier. Her orphaned son, destined for the priest- 
hood, was absolved, on reaching manhood, from his 
vows, and entered the service of Alfonso V under the 
name of Juan Jeronimo de Vilaregut, the truth of his 
parentage having been disclosed to him. 


Betrothal of Dona Maria de Luna to Don Martin, heir to the throne 
of Aragon, 1361. 

Marriage of Don Martin and Dona Maria at Barcelona, 1372. 

They receive the title of Duke and Duchess of Montblanch, 1387. 

Their son, Don Martin the Younger, sails for Sicily, 1398. 

Don Martin succeeds his brother, King Juan I. Maria de Luna as 
regent, 1396. 

Coronation of the King and Queen, 1399. 

Death of Dona Maria de Luna, 1407. 

Second marriage of King Martin to Dofia Margarita de Prades, 1409. 

Death of King Martin, 1410. 

Death of Margarita de Prades, 1451. 


<Z V 





NOTHING in the history of mediaeval Aragon is more 
remarkable than the consummate skill with which the 
Justiciar and those who were responsible for the govern- 
ment steered the ship of state through the interregnum 
which intervened between the extinction of the dynasty 
of the Kings of the House of Barcelona and the accession 
of the dynasty of Castile. Six claimants presented 
themselves for election to the vacant throne. These 
were, Don Jaime, Count of Urgel, great-grandson of 
Alfonso IV ; Louis, Duke of Calabria, great-grandson 
of Pedro III ; Fadrique, Count of Luna, grandson of 
Martin, the last King ; John, Duke of Prades, grandson 
of Jaime II ; Alfonso, Duke of Gandia, great-grandson 
of Jaime II ; and Don Fernando, Regent of Castile, 
nephew of the late King, and brother of Enrique of 
Castile. As the months slipped by, and the difficulties of 
decision seemed no nearer a solution, it was agreed that 
a council of nine persons, representative of the estates 
of Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia, should be empowered 
to choose a King, on behalf of the people, from amongst 
the six candidates. Meeting at Caspe, a little riverside 
town on the Ebro, sixty miles from Zaragoza, on March 
29, 1412, the conclave announced, on June 28, the 
election of Don Fernando, first of the name in Aragon, 
to be King, and, incidentally, yet another Dona Leonor 
to be its Queen. 

Leonor, daughter of Don Sancho, Count of Albur- 
querque (brother of Don Enrique II, King of Castile), 
and Dona Beatrice of Portugal, was born some months 



after her father's violent death in a street brawl at 
Burgos, in 1374. In Castile, together with all her high- 
sounding titles which were hers by inheritance from 
the moment of her birth Countess of Alburquerque, 
Lady of Medellin, Tiedra, Uruena, Montealegre, Villa- 
loin, Briones, Villalba, del Alcor, Castromonte, Carva- 
jales, Haro, Ampudia, Belorado, Cerazo, Ledesma she 
bore the name of Urraca that curious name of many 
meanings which we have seen borne once, by a Queen- 
consort, in the history of Aragon which she seems to 
have changed, from the moment of her arrival on Ara- 
gonese soil, for that of Leonor, more familiar in the ears 
of her new subjects. Her great wealth had won for 
her the sobriquet of the " Eica Hembra " (the Lady 
Grandee) ; the beauty of her red-gold hair is chronicled 
in the annals of her husband's reign. She had been 
married to King, then Prince, Fernando, at Valladolid in 
August, 1395, when she was twenty-one and the bride- 
groom fifteen ; she was still a young and beautiful 
woman, the mother of five sons and two daughters. 

The coronation of Don Fernando I of Aragon, the 
details of which we owe to the threefold authority of 
Alvar Garcia de Santa Maria, a contemporary chronicler, 
of Geronimo Blancas, and of an extract from the last will 
and testament of the King himself, deserves the place of 
prelude which it actually held to that of his beautiful 
and noble consort. 

On November 24, 1413, Don Fernando, acclaimed 
King of Aragon by the representative assembly of 
Caspe, made known to Don Blasco de Heredia, Governor 
of the kingdom, his intention of proceeding to Zaragoza, 
in order that he and his " very dear consort, the Queen," 
might receive the Crown and Holy Unction, together 
with " all other outward signs of royal excellency " ; 
the day proposed for this solemn ceremony being January 
8, after the Festival of the Epiphany. It was the King's 
sovereign pleasure, therefore, that his will in the matter 
should be forthwith made known to his faithful lieges. 
This letter despatched from Lerida, Don Nicolas de 


Biota, Seigneur of Albatillo, Keeper of the Household 
Accounts, was next instructed to make all necessary 
preparations for the august celebration. It was not 
until January 15, 1414, that these preparations were 
actually completed. On that day, the King, states our 
first-mentioned authority, was received at the gate of 
Zaragoza by his eldest son, Don Alfonso, afterwards his 
successor as Alfonso V, and by many knights and great 
lords of the Kingdom of Aragon, by the citizens, and by 
the members of his own household, his trumpeters and 
minstrels, all wearing the royal livery, which was green, 
white, and red, the heralds going before, making known 
to the people the coming of their new ruler. At the 
Palace of the Aljaferia, all was in readiness to receive 
one of the noblest sovereigns who ever sat upon a throne 
of Spain. The walls were hung with priceless tapestries, 
the chairs all thrones, so sumptuous were the bancals 
thrown across them some of cloth of gold, others of 
silk, all with fringes of gold while the floors were 
covered with magnificent carpets. A huge temporary 
building, or marquee, had been erected in the courtyard 
of the Palace by order of the King, of white pinewood, 
with skylights in the roof. This, like the halls in the 
Palace, was richly hung, and canopied with red and 
yellow woollen cloth (bunting ?). Over the chair of 
state, where the King was to take his seat at the banquets 
which were to be served every day in this temporary 
dining-hall, was stretched a canopy of cloth of gold 
bearing the Arms of Aragon and Sicily. The marquee 
was lit by sixteen candelabra suspended from the roof, 
with four great candles burning in each, others being 
placed at the entrance to the hall, which was capable of 
seating a thousand persons, or more. 

A fountain of wood, painted to represent jasper, 
rained jets of red wine, white wine, and water. 

Everywhere in the Palace, on velvet and damask 
backgrounds, on wall-hangings and chair-coverings, 
side by side with the Arms of the House of Aragon, 
appeared the device of the newly founded Order of Our 


Lady of the Lilies 1 (La Jarra de Nuestra Senora or de 
Las Azucenas) ; a jar of lilies pendent from a chain of 
gold, with an image of the Blessed Virgin, surrounded 
by stars, and bearing the Child Christ in her arms. 
The Order was a military one, the knights, who belonged 
to the noblest families in Aragon, vowing " to fight 
against the Moors, for the honour of the Christian Faith, 
and to protect widows and orphans." Founded by the 
King, " a very devout knight of Our Lady/' in honour 
of his coronation, the first investiture of the new Order 
seems to have been one of the most imposing of the 
incidents connected with that solemn function. A hall 
in the Palace, to which, for the time being, was given 
the name the Palace or Hall of the Jars, having been 
set apart for the ceremony, and a chair of state placed 
therein for the Bang called the Chair of the Jars, from 
the four jars of lilies, gilt, which stood at the four corners 
of the dais on which it stood the Royal Founder of 
the Order proceeded to invest the chosen knights, the 
jongleurs playing the while on their instruments, " so 
that none could hear the others speak." 

The streets and lodgings of Zaragoza were impassable 
and crowded to suffocation. Not Aragon only, but 
Castile, Navarre, and Sicily, all bound to the new King 
by ties of blood or vassalship, had sent their noblest, 
fitly attended, to do him honour. Those frowning, 
fortress-like houses of the ancient capital of the Moors 
of Northern Spain were backgrounds for a dazzling 
wealth of colour as knight and prince and serving-man 
came and went in that brilliant week of the coronation 
of Ferdinand the Just. It was the day of the device, 
not only fluttering and flaunting itself on knightly helm 
and menial's shoulder, but blazoned in exquisite em- 
broidery on quaint houppelande and trailing gonela ; 
the day of braided tresses and garlands of gold encrusted 
with gems pearls, emeralds, and balas rubies. It was 

1 "The Order of the Looking-glass of the Blessed Virgin Mary," as one 
old writer styles it, describing the jar of lilies as "Bough-potts with 
their mouths full of lilies." 


the day of fabrics whose very names blossom on the 
page that bears them fabrics lovely as the image which 
they evoke " primavera " cloth of springtime 
" velillo " thin, delicate, strewn with flowers worked 
in silver thread " tela de nacar " cloth of mother-of- 
pearl, fashioned of opalescent threads silver serges, 
watered cloth of silver, and delicate picotes, satins of 

On the Thursday prior to the coronation, which was 
February 8, while the King's sons, and numerous 
knights and esquires of Castile and Aragon were jousting 
before the Palace, the Moors who formed part of the 
embassy sent by the Moorish King of Granada to repre- 
sent him at the coronation, gave a display of their 
national game of reeds with all their customary grace 
and dexterity. The players wore their native burnouses 
and aljubas, and the short swords known as " espadas 
ginetas," while in one hand they carried their shields, 
and their reeds in the other. The attendant trumpeters 
" made such a tumult before the gates of the Palace 
that the Aragonese and others looking on took the game 
for a real battle, many of the horses, in fact, being 
wounded, and the players thrown." The contest only 
ceased with nightfall, when all repaired to the Aljaferia, 
where they were received by the King, who, to show 
his royal largess, caused the treasures of his house to be 
opened, and bestowed the following gifts on his household, 
so that all should come in fitting attire to the coronation. 

To some, he gave lengths of aceytuni, very rich, with 
gold, to others, plain aceytuni, with sable for trimming ; 
to the prelates, and a few of the knights, scarlet cloth, 
with gris fur ; to some of the knights and esquires, 
cloth " de mostre Mileres," with vair for trimming 
this oddly named fabric being doubtless the no less 
curiously named Mustardevelin, or Mustardvillars, a 
mixed grey woollen cloth, says Fairholt, often mentioned 
by mediaeval writers, and made at Moustiers de Villars, 
near Harfleur. Wands, chains of gold, and florins were 
distributed amongst the servants. 


Sumptuous as was the wardrobe of the Koyal House 
of Aragon on all gala occasions, it may be doubted 
whether any King, not even excepting Don Martin and 
Pedro the Ceremonious, ever went to his coronation 
more regally attired than Don Fernando the Just. 
According to custom, the King, having bathed the 
night before, put on new garments, first, a shirt of fine 
linen, then white silk breeches, with the leg-bandages of 
silk also, their whiteness signifying " that he should 
walk with chastity, as befitted a devout knight of Our 
Lady " ; then, a doublet of aceytuni, very richly em- 
broidered with gold and crimson, and over the doublet 
a tunic of bright scarlet, without sleeves, and a pellote 
or pelisse over this, made of crimson aceytuni and gold, 
with the Royal Arms, and a pointed hood, and ermine 
edging. The royal hose were of scarlet cloth. For the 
actual ceremony of the coronation, we learn that the 
King assumed gold-embroidered hose, with gold fasten- 
ings, shoes of white ricomas, with similar ornamentation 
and fastenings, his shirt of white linen ; the Alb was of 
very fine linen, fringed, with one band of gold and the 
other of crimson aceytuni, the edges of the sleeves 
embroidered with gold and pearls, with a girdle of white 
silk, with two gold knobs at the ends, the Chasuble 
worked with gold and pearls also on a ground of crimson 
aceytuni, having also the device of the Jars and Our 
Lady, a tunic of white damask, lined with red aceytuni, 
the collar embroidered with the Arms of Aragon, the 
sleeves embroidered with gold and pearls, with fringes, 
and three sapphires introduced thereon ; the Dalmatic 
and Maniple, as appointed in the Order for the Corona- 
tion. Long after, at the moment of dictating his last 
will and testament, the memory of the dying King 
goes back, it is easy to recognize, to the solemn hour of 
his coronation. It was his passionate desire that all 
who should stand beside his tomb in the choir of Poblet, 
whether his own immediate descendants or strangers 
to come long after, should behold the dead monarch in 
his habit as he lived on that gala day of his " solemn 


crowning and anointing in La Seo." He therefore 
directs that his effigy should be clad in the sacerdotal 
vestments which he then wore, " in the fashion of a 
Cardinal when the Pope celebrates the Divine Office, 
and sandals of velvet on his feet, which he wore when 
he was crowned, and that on his head should be placed a 
crown of silver-gilt, set with crystal stones, and a sceptre 
in his right hand and an orb in his left, both of silver- 
gilt, and an ensign beside him, and all his other orna- 
ments of silk and linen. And that above him should 
be laid his helmet, commonly called timbre, and also a 
small shield, called a targe. And these things shall 
remain thereon/' ends the moribund King, " to per- 
petuate our memory, upon our tomb." Alas ! The 
tomb of the Just King has long since crumbled into the 
dust of Poblet itself ! 

The Queen of Castile had sent to Don Fernando, to 
be worn at his coronation, the crown with which his 
father, King Juan, had been crowned before him an 
incident in which Zurita sees a foreshadowing of the 
eventual union of the two kingdoms. The King, however, 
with admirable tact and discretion, gave orders for his 
crown to be made in Barcelona, whose craftsmen in gold 
and precious stones were famous for their art. They 
excelled themselves in their execution of the royal 
order. The Crown was of gold, five marks, three ounces 
in weight, set with one ruby, ten balas rubies, large, 
small, and medium, seventy-six sapphires, all very 
large, of the finest water, four hundred and ninety-six 
grains of pearls, clear and white, as large as peeled nuts, 
which, Blancas adds, is nothing extraordinary, since 
Pliny mentions a pearl as big as the hilt of a dagger. 
The Crown was made in twenty-eight sections, fourteen 
joining the chaplet round the head, and the other four- 
teen forming the turrets and pyramids round the Crown, 
the whole so exquisitely made and adorned that the 
like had never before been seen. This truly royal diadem 
was borne before the King in the coronation procession, 
on a silver-gilt tray, by his eldest son, newly created 


Duke of Gerona. It was afterwards used to crown 
Dona Leonor. Side by side with it reposed that sent 
by the Queen of Navarre, set with rich jewels also, 
balases and rubies, but not so fine nor of such value as 
the other. The Sceptre, carried by the Infante Juan, 
and the Orb, borne by the Master of Santiago, were no 
less notable than the Crown, the former tipped with a 
great balas, as big as a pigeon's egg, and the latter of 
gold, having a little cross on the top. 

A notable guest at the coronation was Don Enrique 
de Villena, famous in the literary annals of Spain, 
his allegorical play, the first of the kind in Spain, 
being performed in the open air during the passage of the 
procession through the streets on the return from the 
coronation. The distinguished author looms large in all 
the incidents of the festivities. He had been among the 
company at the banquet which preceded the crowning 
of the King, he had served as cupbearer at the customary 
collation offered to the sovereign on his arrival at La 
Seo the night before his coronation ; he had shared 
with the Duke of Gandia the high honour of carrying 
the Dalmatic in the procession from the sacristy to the 
Cathedral ; he had borne the mantle of white aceytuni, 
furred with ermine, at the investiture of Don Juan, 
second son of the King, as Duke of Penafiel. At the 
coronation banquet, Don Enrique had also acted as 
assistant cupbearer, and the following day as Server 
of the Knife, an aptly allotted office, his Arte de Cisoria 
being his chief claim to fame as a litterateur. Ticknor 
compares this quaint treatise with Dame Juliana 
Berners' Treatise on Fishing. 

Don Enrique's allegory was staged on " a great castle, 
in the shape of a wheel, with a high tower in the centre, 
and four other towers at the four corners, the centre 
tower being fortified, and in the centre was a wheel, 
very great, whereon were four damsels, representing 
the four Virtues, Justice, Truth, Peace, and Mercy, and 
at the summit of the great tower was a seat, and on it a 
child clad in the Royal Arms of Aragon, and a golden 



crown on his head, and in his hand a naked sword, as 
though he were a king. And the child sat there, without 
moving ; only the wheel moved ; and the damsels 
declared what was their significance, and then, mounting 
to the towers, clad in white silk, embroidered with gold, 
each in turn sang to God the praises of our Lord the 
King, and of the excellent occasion, and then each one 
recited a couplet, each Virtue commending the quality 
which she represented, Justice the while bearing in 
her hand a sword, Truth, scales, Peace, a palm, and 
Mercy, a sceptre." 

Other open-air performances also took place in the 
crowded streets. A wooden town, staged on carts, 
with houses, roofs, and towers, " marvellously natural," 
was attacked by two garrisons in two castles erected 
opposite the town, the besiegers throwing from their 
enclosure, which resembled a tilting-ground, balls as 
big as the head of a ten-year-old boy, being of leather 
stuffed with wool, while the townsmen retaliated with 
cabbages and other missiles. 

The King of Navarre was represented at the corona- 
tion by his bastard son, " Mossen " Godfroi, Count of 
Cortes, whose outfit, we may well believe, was no less 
worthy of the occasion than that with which he " went 
to meet his father, Don Carlos III, on his return from 
a journey to France." Whether or no " Mossen " 
Godfroi took with him " red and white shoes " and hose 
to match, his buskins, green hukes, and other items of 
the earlier journey, he would certainly have travelled, 
as was then the custom, with his bed and furniture 
complete hangings of red and black serge, canopy, 
dorsal, coverlet and three curtains, with their rings and 
cords. Was it for this same traveller, moreover, that 
payment was made, in 1414, to Bertran de Soraburu for 
" certain silver spangles, to be worn at the coronation 
of the King of Aragon, Don Fernando " ? 

The coronation of the last of the many Leonors of 
Aragon is of peculiar interest, as being the last also of 
which we have any record in the annals of the Queens 


of Aragon ; the last occasion, that is to say, on which 
we, who come so long after, may follow as spectators 
in that glittering procession as it wends its way along 
the streets of ancient Zaragoza, with songs and dances, 
with flash of jewels and rainbow robes, conducting its 
queenly central figure to the most solemn moment of 
her life in the consecrated fane of La Seo. We are to 
turn no more those pages, set as it were with living 
jewels, whereon we may behold, as scarcely elsewhere 
in history, the very picture drawn long before for yet 
earlier ages by the inspired Psalmist ; here, once more, 
and then no more for ever, we are to be reminded, as so 
often in the history of Aragon, of that spirit of the East 
which permeates so much of her national life in the 
Middle Ages, beholding "the King's daughter, all glorious 
within, her clothing of wrought gold, brought with joy 
and gladness " into the Palace of the King of kings. 

Dusk had fallen on Zaragoza, the hour of Vespers 
having struck, when, on the evening of Tuesday, 
February 13, 1414, " the noble and most devout Queen, 
Dona Leonor, set forth " from the Palace of the Alja- 
feria, to receive her consort's crown in the Church of 
San Salvador, robed in white aceytuni, brocaded with 
gold, and supported by her sons, Alfonso, afterwards 
Alfonso V, the Magnanimous, and his brother, Juan, 
Duke of Penafiel, known in history as Juan II, father 
of the unfortunate Prince of Viana. Their way to the 
Marble Hall, the scene of so many a gala night in the 
history of the Court of Aragon, was lit by the hundred 
torches which were borne before the Queen, twelve 
being carried " round about her," by twelve little 
pages, in white liveries, with trimmings of white fur. 
In the Hall, where a chair of state had been set for her 
coming, were assembled all the Court, the jongleurs, 
and the Princes and Princesses. At a given signal, 
dancing began, in which all present joined, " marvel- 
lously well." After the dancing was ended, the Queen 
proceeded to the Palace gate, where her white palfrey, 
with its white trappings, awaited her. The procession, 


identical in all respects with those of previous similar 
occasions, then set out for La Seo, where the customary 
collation of spicery and wine having been served, the 
Queen withdrew to the lodging of the Archbishop, 
where she slept that night. The next day, Wednesday, 
was the actual ceremony of the coronation. The noble 
ladies who were charged with the coveted office of 
carrying the sacerdotal robes were Dona Leonor de 
Ixar, who bore the Alb, her sister, Dona Teresa, the 
Girdle (these two insignia being mentioned for the 
first time as being worn by the Queen, though they had 
always formed part of the King's insignia) ; Blanca 
Manuel, a lady of the suite in attendance on the Queen 
of Navarre, carrying the Chasuble of rich white damask, 
brocaded with gold, and embroidered with aljofar 
(small seed-pearl embroidery) ; Dona Leonor, Countess 
of Quirra, the white Dalmatic, sown with pearls and 
other precious stones ; Dona Leonor de Villena, the 
Maniple. Of still higher rank were the ladies deputed 
to carry, in their appointed order, the Crown, the Orb, 
and the Sceptre. The first of these was entrusted to 
the Infanta Dona Maria, eldest daughter of the Queen, 
the second to her sister, Dona Leonor, and the third 
to Dona Leonor, daughter of the King of Sicily. The 
scene in the Cathedral at the moment of the coronation 
must have been, as Blancas declares, " a sight wonderful 
to behold/' so gorgeous were the dresses of the ladies, 
aceytuni being the favourite wear ; so costly the furs, 
sable, vair, and gris, the necklaces of gold, the girdles 
studded with precious stones, the chaplets of jewels, 
and that graceful form of head-ornament so much in 
vogue in the Middle Ages in Aragon, consisting of a 
circlet of gold with pendants forming a fringe all round 
the head, a fashion which, as Viollet-le-Duc reminds us, 
belongs to remote antiquity, appearing on funeral 
figures on Egyptian tombs, travellers in Spain in more 
modern times having noted the fondness of the women 
for " tiny coins strung on a silken thread, or made into 


The time being February, there was a notable display 
of furs on the dresses of the ladies who thronged the 
Moorish windows of the city to see the splendid pro- 
cession go by. In Spain, as elsewhere in the Middle 
Ages in Europe, the trade of the pelterer was a profitable 
one. ' The names of those beasts bearing fur, and now 
in use with the bountifull Society of Skinners/' as quoted 
in Thomas Middleton's seventeenth - century masque 
" The Triumphs of Love and Antiquity," are almost 
without exception those in vogue in Spain at this date. 
Ermine, lambskin, gris (marten), sable, otter, lynx, 
wolf, and squirrel seem to have been the favourite 
furs, many of these being native to Catalonia, where 
some at least on the list are to be found at the present 
day. Much sought after was the fur of the letice ("a 
beast of whitish-grey colour," says Cotgrave the 
marten), of which we find as many as twenty used to 
edge a capirote in 1383 for the Queen of Navarre. 
English rabbit skins sold for half as much again as those 
from Spain, says Fairholt, in his Costume in England. 
Sumptuary ordinances fixed the prices which furriers 
were to charge for their work in this century. For 
sewing vair or white fur on ladies' mantles not more 
than two maravedis, the same for pellotes, for a tabard, 

The coronation of this golden-haired Queen was 
characterized by a charming unrehearsed effect which, 
we are told, was specially approved of by King Fer- 
nando's Catalan subjects, and " admired by all." When 
the Queen had been duly crowned, the Sceptre and Orb 
placed in her hands, and a ring of great beauty and 
value on her hand, the royal couple, laying aside the 
insignia of their rank, kissed one another, not with the 
customary formal salutation on the cheek, but over 
and over again on the mouth, " to the great delight of 
all," but more especially of the Catalan onlookers. 
The Queen, covered with blushes, was then conducted to 
her chair of state once more, the Infantas and Infantes, 
her children, now approaching to kiss her hand, their 


royal mother in turn kissing them on the lips. The 
King having armed certain knights, the procession 
returned to the Aljaferia, where the usual repast was 
served. None entered into the enclosure which was 
reserved for the Queen save those who served her and 
two knights, who stood at the corners of the table with 
two wax candles to give light, besides that of the 
seventy-four candles suspended from the ceiling, and 
one hundred more which were held at the entrance to 
the enclosure, where the food was brought in. To amuse 
the company, the services of the popular entertainer, a 
dwarf named Borra, had been retained. This famous 
and fortunate comedian enjoyed a rent-roll of 1500 
florins per annum, and was, says Valla, " excellent and 
famous among comedians of his time." In 1436, we 
hear of the Cortes voting a grant of 1000 sueldos to 
" Mossen Borra, buffoon." The night, or rather the 
early morning, was brought to a close" with the customary 
dancing, in which the Infantas and the Court ladies 
took part, and after spices and wine had been served, 
the company broke up, the Queen retiring to her apart- 
ments. For three days, the Queen kept open house, as 
the custom was, the festivities of the first day being 
repeated on the two following. In special honour of 
the Queen's coronation, the King had ordered a great 
tournament to be held, a hundred knights against a 
hundred. The scene of the contest was the Campo del 
Toro, and the King and Queen were spectators, viewing 
the lists from the towers on the ramparts of the city. 
This event took place on the Friday following the corona- 
tion ; on the Sunday and Monday after, there were dis- 
plays of skill at the Moorish game of reeds ; and on 
Monday, the Prince and the Duke, the King's sons, 
jousted in honour of the Queen, their mother. The 
lists were fifteen in number, and the Bang and Queen 
looked on, as before, from the ramparts. Valiant feats 
were performed by the royal and other ^knights, and at 
the conclusion of the tilting, the company returned to 
the Palace, where the King opened the ball with his 


daughter, the Infanta Maria ; the same evening witness- 
ing the betrothal in the great hall of the Aljaferia of 
Dona Leonor de Villena, who had had the honour of 
carrying the Maniple before the Queen at her coronation, 
to Don Antonio de Cardona, and of another Dona 
Leonor, sister of Don Garcia Fernandez Manrique, who 
was affianced to the Conde de Quirra. In celebration 
of this marriage, the King gave a great banquet, at 
which he entertained the bridegroom and other knights, 
the Queen and himself afterwards honouring the newly 
married couple by conducting the bride to her new 
home, and by dining with them later. With this 
marriage, says Blancas, " the most honourable and 
most noble festivities of the coronation came to an 

No pains were spared from first to last by Don Fer- 
nando to endear himself to his new subjects, in all 
respects living up to the reputation which had preceded 
him from Castile as regent. The early days of the 
new reign were filled with countless proofs of royal 
clemency, and with the reinstatement or pensioning of 
various persons who had held office in different capacities 
under his predecessor. His unsuccessful rivals, mean- 
while, had, with one notable exception, accepted the 
inevitable, and done homage. Jaime of Urgel, however, 
held out stubbornly against the will of the people, 
incited by his mother, the Countess Margarita, who 
refused to allow her daughters, as was customary, to 
enter the household of the new Queen, whom she in- 
sultingly styled Dona Urraca, Countess of Alburquerque. 

That the Queen, however, bore the Countess no 
malice may be gathered from the fact that when the 
rebel Count, in spite of the support promised to him by 
the English Duke of Clarence and his compatriot, Don 
Antonio de Luna, was first defeated by the royal 
troops at Alcolea, and then, after the surrender of 
Balaguer, where he had taken refuge, forced to abandon 
all pretensions to the throne of Aragon, he was treated 


by his conqueror with all possible consideration and 
magnanimity. King and Queen alike must have been 
moved, united couple as they were, by the devotion 
and tears of the young Countess of Urgel, who, attended 
only by two ladies, made her way from the besieged city 
to throw herself at the King's feet, imploring his 
clemency towards her unhappy husband. It was a 
plea supported, not only by the Bishops of Malta and 
Urgel, who accompanied her to the royal presence, but 
by the suppliant's own close connection with the royal 
family of Aragon, as the daughter of Don Pedro IV and 
Dona Sibilia de Forcia. All, however, that Dona Isabel 
was able to secure for her captive lord was the royal 
promise that his rebellion should not be visited with 
the penalty of death, which was commuted to imprison- 
ment for life in the fortress of Jativa. Two years later, 
the Queen received into her household, at the King's 
desire, the two elder daughters of the Count, Dona 
Isabel and Dona Leonor, the two younger, Dona Juana 
and Dona Catalina, being allowed to remain with their 
mother while she lived ; at her death, they were trans- 
ferred to the Court of Dona Maria, Queen of Alfonso V, 
son and successor of Don Fernando. One of the four 
sisters, Dona Catalina, died young ; Dona Isabel married 
the Infante Don Pedro of Portugal, who afterwards 
aspired to the throne of Aragon, and perished in the 
attempt ; Dona Leonor became the wife of Ramon 
Ursino, Count of Nola, and Dona Juana of Gaston, 
Comte de Foix, on whose death she married Don Juan 
Ramon, son of the Count of Prades. 

The year of Dona Leonor 's coronation at Zaragoza 
saw the investiture of her eldest son, Alfonso, afterwards 
the Fifth of Aragon, as Duke of Gerona, and the urgent 
request of the Sicilians that the King should send them 
with all speed one of his sons as their King. The son 
chosen by Don Fernando in response to this request was 
his second son, Don Juan, Duke of Penafiel, the one of 
his children with whom his relations were least cordial. 
The hand of the young Prince had been sought in 


marriage by the celebrated Queen Joanna of Naples, 
and he had also been proposed as a husband for the 
Infanta Isabel, daughter of the King of Navarre. In 
Sicily, however, he was destined to meet the lady 
whom he eventually married, elder sister of the Infanta 
Isabel Blanche, the widowed Queen and Vicereine of 
the island. In 1415, the heir-apparent of Aragon, Don 
Alfonso, was married at Valencia to Dona Maria of 

The same year witnessed the rejection, by her name- 
sake sister-in-law, Dona Maria, eldest daughter of the 
King of Aragon, of the hand of Henry V of England. The 
English ambassadors, two in number, accompanied by 
a certain Master of Theology, named John Guy Thornton, 
formerly tutor to the King, arrived at Perpignan, 
December 15, 1415. The alliance was one which 
commended itself both to the pride and the policy of 
Don Fernando ; but the Infanta stubbornly refused the 
proffered honour. In vain her parents dwelt on the 
renown, the valour, and the wealth of her royal suitor. 
Dona Maria, like Isabella the Catholic, in after years, 
had set her heart upon marrying where her heart had 
gone, and there, and not elsewhere, her hand should 
follow. We have a picture drawn for us of the wilful, 
obstinate Princess turning a deaf ear alike to parental 
blandishments and parental commands, vowing, with 
true woman-craft, that " not to marry the best man in 
the world, would she leave her father and mother ! 3> 
In vain the King pointed out that " England was not 
so very far away " ; where, moreover, he added, would 
she find so gallant a knight to do her the honour of 
making her his Queen ? If the King commanded, replied 
the Princess, with affected submission, she must needs 
obey, but if she might ask so great a favour, it would 
be that she might be allowed to remain in Aragon. 
Ferdinand the Just was a mediaeval father in a thou- 
sand ; the incident closed with the King bowing to the 
will of his daughter. To us, who look back across the 
centuries at the two kings, Henry, the rejected, and 


Don Juan II of Castile, the elect, Dona Maria's choice 
does her little credit. For the foolish boy, weak alike in 
mind and body, who found himself, at the age of twelve 
years, his own master, to his own and his kingdom's 
undoing, since both became thenceforth mere pawns 
in the game of Alvaro de Luna, cuts a sorry figure beside 
English Harry, the victor of Agincourt, the beau-ideal 
of the gallant soldier. 

There was no lack of youth at the Court of Dona 
Leonor. Besides her own five sons and two daughters, 
two of the former destined to succeed their father in 
turn on the throne of Aragon, several other illustrious 
and youthful personages shared her maternal care. 
The most important of these was the boy Don Fadrique 
of Aragon, Count of Luna, son of Martin the Younger 
of Sicily, who, bereft at the age of nine of his grandfather, 
King Martin's guardianship, passed into the kindly 
wardship of Don Fernando. The times were those 
when the bar sinister passed for no reproach. The 
bastard of kings was the equal of princes. Thus, we 
find the King appointing a household for Don Fadrique 
conformable to his rank, assigning him a revenue, and 
treating him, in short, in every way, as one of his own 
sons, with whom he was brought up, as his great- 
grandfather, the famous Count Lope, had been brought 
up with the sons of Don Jaime II. The story of the base 
ingratitude with which Don Fadrique repaid his royal 
benefactor belongs to the reign of Don Fernando's 
son and successor, Don Alfonso V. 

Two little high-born sisters, Dona Isabel and Dona 
Leonor, daughters of the ill-fated rival of King Fernando, 
Jaime, Count of Urgel, were also received by Dona 
Leonor into her motherly care after the defeat and life- 
long imprisonment of their father in the fortress of 
Jativa. The marriages of these children and of their 
sister, Dona Juana, and Dona Catalina, were matters 
of intimate and maternal concern to the royal family of 
Aragon, as we shall see at a later date. 

To the brilliant Court of Dona Leonor also belongs 


the tragic romance of her namesake lady-in-waiting, 
Dona Leonor de Escobar. This " most noble demoiselle, 
as beautiful as she was illustrious by birth, and of very 
noble parentage," had the misfortune to attract, 
whilst in the service of her royal mistress, to whom 
she was tenderly attached, the passion of the Queen's 
second son, Don Juan, afterwards King of Aragon and 
Navarre, a prince who, as boy or man, never spared the 
thing he coveted or the obstacle in the path of his 
ambition. By her royal lover, Dona Leonor became 
the mother of a son, Alfonso, afterwards created the 
first Duke of Villahermosa. Dona Leonor is the La 
Valliere of Aragon. Unglorying in her shame, she 
embraced the religious life in the Convent of Santa 
Maria of the Ladies of Medina del Campo, after the 
birth of her little child, upon whose face, it is said, she 
never looked again after her profession. In the cloister, 
where she earned a well-deserved reputation for sanctity, 
Dona Leonor was reunited for a few years to her royal 
mistress, who, as a widow, sought the same refuge, and 
at whose feet she was eventually laid to rest, in the 
convent of her profession. 

In March, 1416, Dona Leonor mourned the loss of 
her youngest son, the Infante Don Sancho, Master of 
Calatrava, who passed away at Medina del Campo. 

A still heavier sorrow was to fall upon her a few days 
later. The failing health of Don Fernando had urged 
upon him the advisability of seeking recovery, if it 
might be, in his native land, a proposal at which the 
States-General of Barcelona took umbrage. It is 
possible that his hot-headed subjects did not realize 
that it was a dying man who, weary and wounded, and 
attended only by a few of his household, passed from 
them for ever, borne in a litter, on his last journey. 
Death overtook him at Igualada, April 2, 1416. He 
left behind him a noble memory ; that of " a just man, 
a kind father, a true knight, an honest suitor, a devoted 
king, a gallant soldier/' Don Fernando had made his 
will at Perpignan on October 10, 1415, with the assistance 


of his secretary, Pablo Nicholas, and the approval of 
the Queen and his son and successor. His executors 
were the Queen, Don Sancho de Rojas, Archbishop of 
Toledo, his confessor, Friar Diego, Diego Fernandez de 
Vadillo, his secretary, and Bernardo de Gualbes, Chief 
Steward of the Principality of Catalonia. For the 
discharge of his debts, he gave his rich crown and 
jewels and all his gold and silver plate, and divided all 
his and Dona Leonor 's possessions in Castile amongst 
his children. 

The widowhood of Dona Leonor was crowded with 
many sorrows. From that royal tomb at Poblet in 
which she had buried all her heart and happiness, she 
passed from her four years' reign as Queen in Aragon 
back to her native Castile, over which one of her daugh- 
ters, the Infanta Maria, was to be Queen. If she came 
in quest of peace, of that claustral retirement to which 
so many other royal ladies had turned with eager, 
though weary steps, bitter disappointment awaited her. 
From the ceaseless and senseless wars which were being 
waged at this time between Castile and Navarre, with 
the traditional implication of Aragon, Dona Leonor, 
bound as she was by the closest ties to the three kingdoms, 
must have found it practically impossible to hold aloof, 
even within the walls of her cloister. Protection there 
was none for her, as events were quickly to prove, in 
her nephew's dominions. They and he alike were under 
the masterful rule of that bold intriguer, Alvaro de 
Luna, who for nearly forty years was the virtual King 
of Castile. Where her dead husband had been regent, 
Dona Leonor was a cipher, even though the year 1418 
saw the marriage of her daughter, the Infanta Maria, 
to her cousin, the chosen husband of her heart, the weak 
fourteen-year-old King, Don Juan II. Dona Maria, 
strong as she had shown herself to be in the matter 
of her affections, was powerless to withstand the all- 
powerful favourite, or to protect her widowed mother 
from his insults. 

Ten years after leaving Aragon, Dona Leonor re- 


visited the scenes of her former queenship. In 1426, 
her son, Don Alfonso V, being in residence at Valencia, 
his mother visited him there, bringing with her her 
younger daughter, Dona Leonor, the object of the 
visit being to discuss the marriage of the Infanta, for 
whom two possible bridegrooms had been proposed, 
Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and Don Duarte, 
son and heir of the King of Portugal. The matrimonial 
destiny of the Princess was satisfactorily arranged at 
the interview, but the Kings of Castile and Navarre 
both frowned upon the Queen's expedition. The visit 
was therefore brought to an abrupt close, the Queen 
returning to Medina del Campo with her daughter, 
whose marriage with the Portuguese Prince was solem- 
nized in the following year at Teruel, the bridal journey 
to Portugal being postponed, however, until 1428. 
Both of Dona Leonor 's daughters thus lived to wear 
the crowns of queens-regnant. Both died, with mys- 
terious suddenness, in 1435, not without suspicion of 
having been poisoned by Alvaro de Luna, their mother's 
inveterate enemy. Through her, he could always strike 
at the confederacy of her sons which constantly threatened 
his downfall. De Luna stood aside, indeed, when Dona 
Leonor 's second son, Don Enrique, audaciously seized 
the person of the King of Castile, and kept him prisoner 
at Tordesillas until he had compelled him to consent to 
his marriage with his sister, Dona Catalina. But in 
1430, when the Constable was once more in power, he 
revenged himself on the temporary success of the 
Aragonese faction in Castile, by taking forcible posses- 
sion of the estates of Dona Leonor in Castile, and im- 
prisoning the widowed Queen in the Convent of Santa 
Clara de Tordesillas, famous as the retreat of Dona 
Valentina de Mur, whose fatal beauty had worked such 
havoc in the life of Don Fadrique of Aragon, but who 
afterwards became Abbess in this convent. With the 
recurrent ascendency of her sons, Dona Leonor recovered 
her lands and her liberty, but sorrows followed thick 
and fast upon her footsteps. She was called upon not 


only to witness, the dissensions between those nearest 
and dearest to her, but to lose three of her sons and both 
her daughters before death mercifully set her free. The 
last and crowning sorrow of her life was the defeat and 
captivity of her two sons at the Battle of Ponza, of 
sinister fame in the annals of Aragon. It was virtually 
her death-blow. She died at the Convent of Medina del 
Campo, December 16, 1435, " after great labours and 


Birth of Dona Leonor de Alburquerque, 1374. 

Her marriage to Don Fernando, Regent of Castile, 1395. 

Accession of Don Fernando to the throne of Aragon, 1412. 

Coronation of King Fernando and Queen Leonor at Zaragoza, 1413. 

Death of the King. Dona Leonor retires to Castile, 1416. 

Her death at Medina del Campo, 1435. 

(1) Before her widowhood : (2) after. 



ON November 14, 1401, in the Alcazar of Segovia, a 
daughter was born to Enrique III of Castile and his 
Queen, Catherine of Lancaster. English blood, there- 
fore, ran in the veins of this future Queen of Aragon, who 
received the name of Maria. Passionate blood also 
flowed in the same channel, for the little Infanta was 
the granddaughter of Pedro the Cruel and his beautiful 
mistress, Maria de Padilla. Her matrimonial destiny 
was early assured. Castilian politicians were already 
busied with that dream of the union of Castile and Aragon 
which the accession of Fernando of Antequera to the 
latter throne had seemed to bring a little nearer fulfil- 
ment. Betrothed when literally in her cradle to her first 
cousin, Don Alfonso, eldest son and heir of Ferdinand 
the Just of Aragon, no pains seem to have been spared to 
fit Dona Maria for her future exalted position, although 
none of those who were responsible for her upbringing 
could have foreseen how arduous her queenship was 
actually to prove. Dona Juana de Zuniga and her 
daughter, Dona Mencia, to whom in succession the 
education of the Infanta was confided, were both women 
of exceptional talents and lofty character, and the 
thoroughness with which they discharged their onerous 
task was amply rewarded by the remarkable results 
achieved in the person of their illustrious pupil. Florez, 
the celebrated biographer of the Catholic Queens of 
Spain, is loud in her praises ; whilst the history of the 
reign of her ungrateful consort, Don Alfonso V, which 
belongs rather to Italian than to Spanish annals, is that 


of his noble and neglected wife's administration of the 
affairs of Aragon, which prospered, as one historian 
reminds us, " during the King's absence beyond the sea, 
as a country that has no history/' 

When Dona Maria had attained the age of seven 
years, the Papal dispensation rendered necessary by the 
close relationship between the contracting parties having 
been granted by Pope Benedict XIII, the betrothal of 
the youthful and princely pair was ratified with the 
customary formalities, the bride's dowry being the 
Marquisate of Villena, commuted to 200,000 golden 
doubloons. Attended by the Bishops of Palencia and 
Mondonedo, and by the usual suite of grandees, the 
Infanta was conducted to Valencia, where the marriage 
took place June 12, 1415. At the Court over which she 
was eventually to reign, she found the warm and 
maternal welcome of her aunt and mother-in-law, Dona 
Leonor, to whose queenship she was to succeed ere 
another year had gone by. The withdrawal of the 
widowed Queen from Aragon must have been a real and 
great loss to her young daughter-in-law. She needed 
the presence and the ripe counsels of the elder woman 
as no happily married wife ever needs the friendship 
of another woman. For very early in her married life, 
Dona Maria recognized, clearly, though without sub- 
mission that came long after that, if she was to find 
even the outward semblance of happiness in Aragon, she 
must seek it in her devotion to the people over whom 
she had been called to reign. The fifteen-year-old 
Queen of Don Alfonso V does not seem to have sought, 
or to have given proof of her capacity for, the role 
which fate was reserving for her. Her husband, care- 
less from first to last alike of Aragon and of his consort, 
was occupied, for the four years immediately following 
his accession, with the concerns of Corsica and Sardinia, 
and, incidentally, with the mistake which was to recoil 
so disastrously upon his kingdom, the recall from 
the vice-royalty of Sicily, in spite of the pleadings and 
protestations of its inhabitants, of his younger brother, 


Don Juan, to find compensation in the hand of the 
widowed Queen of Sicily, Blanche of Navarre, and in 
the intrigues which he was now free to foment in Castile. 
There, however, he came into speedy conflict with his 
brother, the Infante Enrique, who had followed his 
mother, Dona Leonor, with the rest of her family, back 
to her native land. Both brothers disputed with Alvaro 
de Luna the supremacy over the boy-King, who was at 
once their cousin and their brother-in-law, Don Enrique, 
however, striving still more for the prize of the hand of 
the Infanta Dona Catalina, the King's sister. By a 
dramatic coup, he attained his end. On July 14, 1421, 
" before the King had risen from his bed/' the Prince, 
with a handful of fellow-conspirators, under pretext of 
removing Don Juan from the humiliating bondage in 
which he was held by Alvaro de Luna, made him 
prisoner in his Palace, only setting him at liberty when 
he had consented to the marriage of his audacious captor 
with Dona Catalina. The birth of a son in this same 
year to the Duke of Penafiel, as Don Juan was now 
styled, and his wife, Dona Blanca of Navarre, was a 
sharp reminder to the childless Queen of Aragon of the 
withholding from her hungering arms of the sole tie 
that might have bound her errant husband more 
closely to her side. The year 1421 was also the year of 
Don Alfonso's departure on that memorable expedition 
which was to have " so far-reaching an influence on the 
future history of United Spain." It was a woman's 
hand that beckoned him, fanning the restless flickering 
of his roving ambitions to a flame of thirst for conquest. 
Juana of Naples, who had jilted his younger brother, 
Don Juan, in order to marry the Count de la Marche, 
who had speedily exchanged her fickle embraces for a 
dungeon, now summoned the head of the House of 
Aragon to the doubtful honour of becoming her adopted 
son, and heir to her crown. Seconded by the Pope, such 
an offer was one after Alfonso's own heart. But 
scarcely had it been accepted, when Juana, fickle as 
ever, transferred it to Louis of Anjou, the hereditary 


foe of the House of Barcelona. Confronted by the 
dilemma in which he was now plunged, Don Alfonso 
had but one course left open to him. That course, as he 
made it known to the world, counselled that, under the 
circumstances, it would be more politic to await develop- 
ments, which were sure to arise where such a woman as 
Queen Juana was concerned, not in Naples, where he 
had already established himself, but in Aragon. That 
he withdrew from Italy, however, with a bad grace, 
may be inferred, whilst the plundering and burning of the 
city of Marseilles on his homeward voyage reads like 
the petty spite of a thwarted boy venting his ill-humour 
on the nearest unoffending, inanimate object. Minor 
and family matters filled the years that intervened, all 
too slowly, between the King's return to his Spanish, 
and his second expedition to his Italian, dominions. 
The Castilian intrigues of his brothers kept him con- 
stantly on the brink of war with Castile, only averted, 
time after time, by the discretion of his Queen. All her 
services in this connection, however, were coldly re- 
garded by the King, who was now almost completely 
estranged from her. The mystery of the final rupture 
between the ill-assorted pair has never been completely 
solved, though the tragic solution has been sought in 
the violent death of Dona Margarita de Ixar, a lady of 
the Court of Dona Maria, by whose orders, it is said, 
the unfortunate lady, suspected of an intrigue with the 
King, was cruelly done to death. Dona Margarita, it 
was believed, paid with her life for another's sin, since 
the reputed son whom she was supposed to have borne 
to Don Alfonso, Don Fernando of Calabria, was believed 
by many to have had a still more exalted personage for 
his mother. Whatever were the true facts of the tragedy, 
the King on learning of the death of Dona Margarita, 
took a solemn oath never again to live with the Queen 
as his wife, and thereupon departed on his second and 
final expedition to Italy. The event, however, which, 
in the eyes of the world, cleared his way to that in- 
heritance which had been snatched from him by Louis 


of Anjou, was the death of his rival. This was quickly 
followed by that of Juana herself, and by the prompt 
assertion of the claims of Alfonso of Aragon to her 
possessions. Opposition at once arose from Rome, the 
Duke of Milan being appointed to give martial expression, 
at the head of the Papal forces, to that opposition. 
Alfonso retorted by taking possession of the city of 
Terracina, his brother, the Infante Don Pedro, acting 
as his proxy. Terracina, or, more correctly, the neigh- 
bouring Isle of Ponza, was to be a name of no less 
sinister meaning in the annals of Aragon than that of 
Ucles in the history of Castile. The " Magnanimous " 
King was no admiral ; the flower of the Aragonese 
nobility, under his command, sustained a crushing 
defeat at the hands of the Italians, and Don Alfonso and 
his two brothers were taken prisoners by the victorious 
Duke of Milan, yet treated, as the chronicler tells us, 
" not like prisoners, but as princes/' Portent upon 
portent had not failed to stamp that fatal Fourth of 
August, 1435, upon the popular imagination of the 
subjects of the captive monarch. At Zaragoza, the fall 
of an arch of the stone bridge which was in process of 
erection over the Ebro caused the deaths of five persons, 
several others being seriously injured. Still more 
ominous was the tolling of the famous Bell of Velilla, 
which, untouched by mortal hands, gave forth, as it 
was wont upon occasions of disaster to the Royal 
House, its sonorous and sinister warning. But the Bell 
of Velilla foretold joy as well as sorrow, for, on the 
Vigil of the Epiphany of the following year, it once 
more announced the restoration of the King and Princes 
to liberty. 

The news of the defeat of the fleet of Aragon did 
not reach Barcelona until August 29, when the whole 
nation was plunged into mourning for its sovereign and 
sorrow for the Queens, mother and wife, and for the 
Princesses of the Royal House, sisters of Don Alfonso. 
The time, however, was one for immediate action, not 
for futile tears. The nation looked, as one man, and not 


in vain, to Maria of Castile, who thus entered upon her 
long and lonely and heroic bearing of the burdens of his 
state which her consort was never afterwards to resume. 
It was to be her role henceforth not only to wield in his 
stead the sword of justice and mercy in his dominions ; 
it was to her, above all, that Don Alfonso was to look 
when it became necessary, as was to be so often and so 
urgently the case, to replenish the coffers whence he 
drew his supplies for prosecuting his campaign in Italy, 
careless as to the impoverishment of Aragon thereby. 
From Barcelona, where she had patiently awaited, in 
the midst of their people, tidings of the fate of the 
King's gallant fleet, Dona Maria proceeded, the worst 
being known, to Zaragoza, whence she despatched a 
summons to the grandees of the kingdom to meet her 
there for the purpose of taking counsel together as to 
the course to be pursued in the face of the national 
calamity. The Cortes having been convoked for Novem- 
ber 5, 1435, at Monzon, the Queen proceeded to pay a 
flying visit to her brother, the King of Castile, who 
received her with every show of affection and respect at 
Soria. The visit lasted nine days ; on November 19, 
Dona Maria left Soria to keep her appointment with the 
Cortes, having accomplished the object of her journey, 
the prolongation of the truce which had been agreed 
upon between Aragon and Castile, the security of 
which was indispensable to the free hand necessary for 
her in the critical position of Aragon at the moment. 
Light from the torches borne before her flashes on her 
weary face and drooping figure as, seated on her royal 
throne in the Church of San Juan at Monzon, she takes 
the oath of her convocation and wins from the Cortes 
the necessary grant of men and money to enable the 
King to retrieve his fortune. Her efforts on his behalf 
were poorly repaid, first, as last, by Don Alfonso. 

Her heavy task was by no means lightened by the 
interfering and thwarting influence of her brother-in-law, 
the provocative and intriguing Don Juan, Duke of 
Penafiel, and, at a later date, through his marriage with 


Dona Blanca, widow of Martin of Sicily, King of Navarre. 
Throughout her regency, we see him, in the rare intervals 
of his machinations in Castile, busily engaged in frus- 
trating all his sister-in-law's efforts for the good of her 
people, and in undermining her husband's faith and 
confidence in her abilities as administrator. He even 
partly succeeded in ousting her from her office as 
Lieutenant-General for the whole kingdom, wresting 
from his brother the control of Aragon, leaving only 
that of Catalonia to the Queen. It was probably at 
his suggestion, also, that Don Alfonso proposed, in 1436, 
that the Queen should join him in Naples. Fortunately 
for the peace of Aragon, Dona Maria refused. She 
loved Aragon too well to abandon it to Don Juan. The 
hand of a peacemaker, not of a crafty plotter, was 
necessary at the helm of state at this juncture. Don 
Juan hated her, not only because she was the sister of 
his enemy, the King of Castile ; she was the friend of 
his equally hated and unfortunate son, the Prince of 

Throughout her administration of the affairs of Aragon 
Don Juan was the thorn in her side which pierced most 
deeply into her heart. 

" Bring me a constant woman," writes that great 
dramatist who was an unrivalled reader of the human 
heart, " and to that woman, when she has done the 
most, yet will I add an honour, a great patience." It 
might have been Maria of Castile whom the poet had 
in mind. In the pages of the Cancionero of Lope de 
Stuniga, she stands, a noble figure, sadder than Leda, 
robed in white, girdled with gold, the collar and device 
of the Jar and Griffon round her neck, a rosary in her 
hands, and her brows bound with the martyr's palm. 
It is the portrait of a woman who was patient indeed, 
though her patience broke her heart at last. Over her 
grave face there rested, we are told, a veil of habitual 
melancholy strange contrast to the brilliant smiles of 
Lucrezia de Alagno, the enchantress of Torre del Greco ! 

Where are we to look for the secret and solution of 


that livery of sadness which, early assumed, was never 
laid aside until death ? Is it to be found in that other 
tragic mystery the one blot on a noble character the 
violent death of Dona Margarita de Ixar, her lady-in- 
waiting, said to have been brought about by command 
of her royal mistress, who suspected her of being the 
mother of the King's bastard son, Don Fernando, 
afterwards Duke of Calabria, and eventually, having 
been legitimized by the Pope, his successor on the 
throne of Naples ? Or was it the still more sinister 
truth, too late revealed to her, that the hapless victim 
of her jealous rage had paid the penalty of another's 
sin, to shield whom she had laid down her life ? For 
the mother of the bastard Prince, popularly supposed to 
be a certain Vilardona Carlina, has been held by some 
historians to have been yet more highly placed, and 
united to the King by the closest bonds of relationship 
by marriage namely, his sister-in-law, Dona Catalina, 
wife of the Infante, Don Enrique. If the scandal 
reached the ears of Dona Maria, she at least gave Dona 
Catalina the shelter of her silence and her roof, for this 
" golden-haired Infanta," who shared her husband's 
wandering life for years, passed away, October 19, 1439, 
after giving birth to a son, in the Archbishop's Palace at 
Zaragoza, tenderly watched over in her dying moments 
by her sister. 

Cause enough for the shadows to deepen on the out- 
ward features as they deepened on the heart and around 
the path of Aragon's noble Regent and forsaken Queen. 
As the term of her regency lengthened, she ceased to 
look for the summons which she was too proud to demand, 
which should have called her to her rightful place at her 
husband's side. In 1436, indeed, there had been idle 
talk of such a summons ; but the fact that it was 
proposed to replace her as regent by the Duke of 
Calabria was probably enough to bring the project to 
a swift close. And, as time went on, bringing to her 
year by year the testimony of eye-witnesses ambassa- 
dors from Barcelona who vainly sought to draw their 


sovereign from the siren spell of Lucrezia de Alagno 
to his half-forgotten Aragonese kingdom Maria of 
Castile accepted her burden, and strove to be content 
with her lonely splendour of a throne. Without a pang 
of never-stifled yearning, or, at least, without a pang 
betrayed, she took her kind and courteous leave of those 
fairest and noblest of Catalonia's noble youth, who, 
finding her Court too dull, her rule too austere, were 
for ever spreading wings of impatient desire towards 
that gay and splendid Court of Naples where the Golden 
Age might once more be lived beneath the sway of that 
lady of the King's heart, who was its virtual Queen. 
They passed, too, these willing exiles from Aragon, to 
bridals arranged for them by the Magnanimous monarch. 
Thus, the Infanta Leonor, daughter of the Count of 
Urgel, sailed from Barcelona to marry the Neapolitan 
Count de Nola ; whilst the almost royal House of Car- 
dona gave another Leonor, daughter of Don Ramon de 
Cardona, to be the bride of Don Antonio de Arborea, 
Marques de Oristan. If their Queen's thoughts ever 
followed their receding galleys towards those shores 
which, as one of her poets has well said, she had good 
cause to curse, none knew it, as she turned back to take 
up her heavy charge once more. She needed quiet 
composure for its fulfilment. We can scarcely picture 
her in any other mood. The path which she was called 
upon to tread in its execution, was, as we have said, 
agloom with shadows. The mediaeval order and the 
feudal system were passing in the midst of strange 
portents, famine, tempest, flood, and signs in the 
heavens, as though the elements themselves were at 
once typical and in sympathy with the fierce struggle of 
the long-enslaved to shake off the hated yoke of their 
feudal lords. The wild music of those lawless bands 
who marched through the land to the sound of flageolet, 
trumpet, and drum, might well have struck, as indeed 
it did strike, terror into the hearts of those who had good 
cause to tremble as that army terrible with banners 
rolled by. But on the ears of the woman whose fearless 


sympathy was all theirs, who had won their compassion 
and respect, if not their affection, by her life of devotion 
to duty, and her warm espousal of their cause, it fell 
but as yet another trumpet-call to duty. Duty, and 
that by no means an easy task, was all that was required 
of her. The King of Naples looks to the Regent of 
Aragon to find him money to carry on his distant and 
undesirable rule in Naples. It is his place to ask, hers 
to use all the eloquence at her disposal to replenish his 
often-emptied coffers. He demands an armada of 
forty-two galleys, or three hundred men ; Barcelona, 
approached by the Regent, responds with literal zeal, 
one Consul alone, Juan de Fivaller, undertaking to fit 
out six galleys at his own cost. Calm and composed by 
nature, she is driven, by the urgency of commands 
from Naples, like a leaf before the wind, like a petrel 
before the storm, to do his behests. 

From that memorable day in 1429, when she pitched 
her tent between the armies of Castile and Aragon at 
Cogolludo, and turned the tide of fratricidal battle by 
her silent, yet eloquent plea for peace, Dona Maria 
saw the way that was appointed her to walk in, and trod 
it unflinchingly. The itinerary of her journeys during 
the years of her regency represent not merely miles of 
wearisome travelling, in a country where travel has 
always been traditionally difficult, but a strain that 
slowly, but surely, sapped the strength of which she was 
ever unsparing. Life for her was a stern thing of hard- 
ships and anxieties, a striking contrast to that long 
holiday, in which she could scarcely have borne a part, 
those splendid Neapolitan fetes, with their pantomimes, 
their ballets, their " disguises " and " interludes/' and 
" moralities," which were the jewelled setting of the 
sway of Alfonso V over his Italian province a frame 
from which it is to be feared the serious-minded Queen 
would have torn more than one offence, as we find her, 
in 1454, prohibiting the appearance in municipal merry- 
makings at Barcelona of naked men or " other indecen- 
cies," as well as the use of rockets or Greek fires. It 


was the influence of Dona Maria that undoubtedly 
brought to Aragon the respite of the five years' truce 
which was agreed upon between the warring Kings in 
1430. She it is who flings herself into the breach when- 
ever that solemn cessation of hostilities seemed, as it 
often was, to be on the point of breaking down. When 
the disaster of Ponza seemed to leave Aragon open 
to the attacks of enemies from all quarters, Dona 
Maria's first thought is to summon the Cortes of Monzon 
to grant supplies to her captive husband of men and 
money, but her second thought is to make assurance 
doubly sure by interceding with her brother, the King 
of Castile, that his dogs of war may not be let loose 
upon a defenceless people in the midst of their humilia- 
tion and disaster. And it is to the credit of the foolish 
Don Juan II of Castile that, puppet as he was in the 
hands of Alvaro de Luna, he never failed in respect or 
affection for his sister. As a Queen, he received her on 
her native soil; as a Queen, he kept faith with her. 
If she came as a suppliant, she was treated as a 
fellow-sovereign. Publicly, he declared, on the occasion 
of his granting her plea for the extension of the five 
years' truce in 1435, that he did so out of his great love 
and regard for the Queens of Aragon and Navarre. Nor 
does she relax, but rather redoubles her efforts in the 
cause of peace, when the accession of her nephew to 
the throne of Aragon on the death of his father, in 1454, 
seemed for awhile to jeopardize that which she had 
fought so valiantly to maintain. 

Dona Maria gave practical proof of her interest in 
home industries by her frequent patronage of the crafts- 
men of Perpignan. Her commissions include gloves of 
dogskin and kid, embroidered with pearls and trimmed 
with silk fringe of different colours, and her numerous 
purchases of sheaths, or cases, some of gold, others of 
green or black leather, remind us of the multiplicity of 
these objects and their uses in the mediaeval lady's 
wardrobe. From Perpignan, also, Charles d'Oms sends 
her a length of cloth, " called cadis," for her " own use." 


The researches of Senor Don Guillermo de Osma in the 
Archives of Valencia have brought to light an interest- 
ing correspondence which throws still more light on the 
Queen's fostering care of the arts and crafts of her 
subjects. The correspondence in question begins, 
November 26, 1454, with a letter written by the Queen, 
then residing at Borja, to Pedro Boil, Lord of Manises, 
in which she instructs that " noble and well-beloved " 
servant of her House, to have manufactured to her 
order, his estate being in the centre of the industry, a 
set of Majorca ware for her own personal use. As soon 
as the order is completed, the various items are to be at 
once delivered to " our loyal attorney, Don Christobal 
de Montblanch," to be by him transmitted to the Queen. 
The several items, which were duly despatched within 
four months of the receipt of the order, were, two 
aguamanils, or ewers, two large dishes for holding and 
serving meat, plates, bowls or porringers (escudillas) 
for broth, flower-vases, and other articles the use of 
which is undetermined by modern authorities, such as 
the morteros, of which half a dozen were ordered. On 
the receipt of the ware, which seems to have been an 
exquisite example of the famous lustre-ware of Manises, 
the Queen expresses her gracious thanks to Don Pedro, 
and gives a further order for six jugs and the same number 
of drinking-cups of the same. 

The lonely Queen had her consolations. Spiritually, 
she found them, we are told, in the sermons of a certain 
Friar Matthew, whose influence as a fashionable preacher 
in Barcelona, Zaragoza, and Valencia, made him many 
enemies, and finally caused his banishment from Court. 
The Queen, however, remained his firm friend ; in an 
illness which overtook him at Valencia, we find Dona 
Maria specially commending the care of the invalid to 
the jurats and prud'hommes of the city. Besides Lope 
de Stuniga, already cited, and Johan de Tapia, who 
sang her virtues, she had Jaime Roig, the troubadour, 
for her physician, a writer best known as the author of 
the Libre de Cornells fet per lo Magnifich Mestre Jaume 


Roig, or Le Libre ou les Dones e de Concells, a biting 
satire on women, though concluding with praise and 
glory to the Madonna. At her Court, too, sang Andreu 
Febreu, the talented translator of Dante's Divine 
Comedy, and the austere beauty of the elegies of 
Ausias March, that " man of a very lofty spirit/' 
singer of Love and Death, and friend of the ill-fated 
Charles, Prince of Viana, found echo and response in her 
sorrowful heart. 

The Kingdom of Aragon, which we have seen swept, 
in common with the rest of Europe, at the close of the 
fourteenth century, by the scourge of the Black Death, 
was called upon, at the middle of the fifteenth century, 
to confront that great social upheaval of the Peasant 
Eevolt, which was the economic aftermath of the 
Plague. It was in the north-east or Catalonian district 
of Aragon that this revolt raged most fiercely. In 
that fascinating chapter of the close of the Middle Ages, 
which deals with the decay of the feudal system and 
the rise of the rural democracy, pagesos de remensa, as 
they are called, the last two Queens of Aragon figure 
almost side by side, wielding a powerful, though widely 
differing influence on the struggle. 

Dona Maria of Castile was, as we should expect to 
find her, the mother of the manumitted serfs, paying 
with her popularity amongst the governing classes for 
her fearless espousal of their cause, and the repeal of 
the countless cruel and obnoxious taxes that pressed 
so heavily upon them. Her partisanship was visited 
with the scathing denunciations of the Cortes and the 
charge levelled at her by the nobility, of " inciting the 
people to rebel against their natural lords." 

Dona Juana de Enriquez, on the other hand, step- 
mother to all the world save her own children, with- 
stood the inevitable struggle towards freedom of an 
enslaved populace with all the foolish and over-bearing 
tyranny of a par venue. If Dona Maria lifted one burden 
from those toil-ridden shoulders, Dona Juana would 
have bound a score thereon. Maternal legislation is 


not for her ; sword in hand, she sallies forth to quell 
the tide which neither she nor her predecessor could 
hope to stay. One Queen was the wise woman who 
bows before the inevitable trend of social destiny ; the 
other was the foolish woman who pits her weak will 
against its onrush. 

Administrative genius coupled with the maternal 
instinct, the stronger for its piteous denial, were the 
dominant virtues in the character of Dona Maria of 
Castile. Around her, as around other Queens of Aragon, 
we see grouped much that was young and motherless. 
On the death of Dona Maria de Luna, she succeeded to 
the charge of the granddaughter of Don Martin the 
Humane, Dona Violante of Sicily and Aragon, for whom 
she arranged a marriage, dowerless bride though she 
was, with Don Enrique de Guzman, Count of Niebla, a 
kinsman, on his mother's side, of the Royal House of 
Castile, the betrothal being celebrated in the presence 
of the Queen. The repudiation of Dona Violante by 
her husband, who drove her from his house in order to 
place at its head a sometime discarded mistress, was a 
source of "great grief and displeasure" to the Queen, who 
addressed a strong remonstrance to the Court of Castile 
on the subject of the Count's inhuman treatment of his 
young wife. From it sprang a deadly feud between the 
Houses of Guzman and de Luna. Many years after her 
first unhappy union, Dona Violante married as her 
second husband Don Martin de Guzman, a kinsman, 
apparently, of the Count de Niebla. The young daughter 
of the rebel Count Fadrique de Luna, a niece of Dona 
Violante, was also placed in the care of Dona Maria by 
Don Alfonso after the unhappy matrimonial dissensions 
between her father and mother. This ward of the 
Queen's, however, died before a suitable marriage could 
be arranged for her. 

The daughters of Don Jaime of Urgel passed, as we 
have seen, from the guardianship of Dona Leonor to 
that of Dona Maria when the latter became Queen of 
Aragon. The marriage of one of these young ladies was 


not accomplished without much persuasion on the part 
of Dona Maria. The match-making King Alfonso, who 
seems to have employed his leisure from camps in pro- 
moting alliances between his Italian courtiers and the 
ladies of Aragonese noble families, proposed, in 1437, a 
marriage between the Neapolitan Count of Nola, one 
of the most illustrious of his new subjects, and Dona 
Leonor of Urgel, requesting Dona Maria to send the 
bride with all speed, on board a galley commanded by 
Matheo Pujades, to Naples. But, " with great stubborn- 
ness," Dona Leonor absolutely refused to be thus dealt 
with as though she were mere merchandise. The King 
thereupon gave orders that, if she did not consent of 
her own free will, she was to be carried on board by 
force ! But Dona Leonor continued obdurate. Matters 
grew to such a climax that the Bang was besieged with 
letters from all Dona Leonoras relations, imploring him 
not to force the alliance upon her, which, we are told, 
" caused the King to marvel much," seeing that the 
Count was amongst the highest in the land. 

Dona Leonor 'a attitude may be explained, perhaps, by 
the fact that the Count of Nola seems to have previously 
sought the hand of her sister, Dona Juana, and that 
it was only on learning of the latter 's second marriage, 
after barely eight months' widowhood, that he con- 
sented to console himself with Dona Leonor, then about 
twenty-four. The Queen's gentler counsels, however, 
must have eventually prevailed with the " proud ladye," 
for her marriage with the Count of Nola appears to have 
taken place within a year of her " stubborn refusal." 

Under Dona Maria's tutelage, also, there grew up in 
Barcelona the young Prince known as the " Fortunate 
Infante," the posthumous son, by his second wife, Dona 
Beatriz Pimentel, of Don Enrique, brother of Alfonso V, 
who was mortally wounded at the battle of Olmedo, in 
1445. Fate at one time seemed to reserve a brilliant 
destiny for this youthful Prince, who was proposed 
as a husband for the luckless Infanta Juana, 
nicknamed La Beltraneja, but when the cloister had 


claimed her, he married a Portuguese lady, Dona 

The hapless Prince of Viana, again, found in Dona 
Maria, no less than in her husband, a friend whose 
intervention, over and over again, in the distressing 
quarrels between his father and himself, postponed, it 
may be, the inevitable tragedy which ended all the 
Prince's misfortunes and which neither she nor Don 
Alfonso were able altogether to avert. 

From 1446 to 1448, the picture which the records 
of the reign present of this lonely Queen, struggling 
not only against the growing infirmities of a premature 
old age, but against that tide of social revolution which 
broke at the very foot of her throne, is of infinite pathos. 
Perhaps because she saw the inevitableness of its oncom- 
ing, perhaps because she was too dejected and tired- 
out to resist, she placed herself on the side of the pagesos 
de remensa. She had been alternately shocked and 
sickened, pious and fastidious as she was, by the proofs 
of decadence and demoralization which had flaunted 
themselves before her eyes in the social order throughout 
the years of her impressionable girlhood in Aragon. 
She had recoiled alike from the open immorality alleged, 
without contradiction, against the clergy, even the 
monastic Orders, and the equally low standard of morals 
prevalent amongst the people over whom she desired 
her rule to be above all else maternal. She had seen 
flood and famine at their woeful work amongst those 
upon whom the burden of servitude already pressed to 
an insupportable degree. Her heart, upon which no 
child of her own had ever rested, went out to the op- 
pressed, and for this, their oppressors pointed the finger 
of scorn and warning at her as " the instigator of dis- 

For a parallel to the social conditions prevailing in 
Spain as regards the relations between lord and vassal, 
in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and early part of the 
fifteenth centuries, we have but to turn to our own 
history of the same period. In both countries, the 


Black Death had bequeathed a sinister harvest of de- 
populated towns and untilled fields, with their conse- 
quences of mortality and famine, to the survivors. 
But there was a yet more appalling legacy than this to 
be faced. Coterminous with the gradual decadence of 
the great feudal magnates had been the gradual rise of 
the manumitted serf. As in England, manumissions 
were purchasable, by loans to the lord for his military 
expeditions, whence he returned, laden, it might be, 
with profitless laurels, to find the tillage of his fields 
neglected, and his freed vassals peopling the free towns, 
a growing menace to the very existence of his own order. 
These chartered towns became veritable cities of refuge 
for the disaffected in the Middle Ages. Scarcity of 
labour resulted in impoverished revenues for the land- 
owner, who found himself compelled to pledge or sell 
the priceless heirlooms of his house, or to fall into the 
hands of Jewish usurpers. The sales of the exquisite 
works of mediaeval art that thus passed into alien 
keeping symbolize the passing of the feudal system 
itself into the melting-pot of revolution. The freed 
serfs, feared and hated by their late oppressors, lay or 
ecclesiastic, were not altogether without the support 
of the Church. But it came from her most democratic 
section, the landless friars, who were, in many cases, 
sons of those rural districts which are ever the ultimate 
refuge of the passing, primitive world. It was they, 
rather than Dona Maria, surely, who spared neither 
exhortation nor denunciation in their self-imposed 
mission of inciting the revolting Catalans in the early 
part of the fifteenth century. Thus, we read of San 
Vicente Ferrer, as he was afterwards to be, traversing 
the towns and villages of north-eastern Catalonia, with 
his following of twelve priests and a noisy and disorderly 
multitude, some, half -naked, scourging their bodies 
with rods, others chanting psalms, the twelve priests, 
meanwhile, proclaiming the indulgences offered by the 
Holy See, the Saint haranguing the crowds, announcing, 
in his discourses, the approaching hour of Divine 


judgment, a prophecy whose fulfilment must already 
have seemed to have fallen on his desperate and despair- 
ing hearers, a prey as they were to the assaults of merci- 
less Nature no less than of the unpitying rich. 

The moment was one of strained relations between 
people and sovereign. The Estates of Catalonia, whose 
response, throughout the years of his absence in Italy, to 
his insatiable demands for money had been ungrudg- 
ing, had at length come to an end of their patience,' 
if not of their resources. They would finance no 
more foreign wars ; the affairs of Aragon were 
more pressing than those of Italy. Cortes and 
Queen separated, with disappointment and displeasure 
on her side ; in this mood, she issued, from Per- 
pignan, to which she retired on the rising of Parlia- 
ment, her sentence in favour of the vassals of the Bishop 
and Chapter of Gerona, who had revolted against their 
lords, the latter retaliating by excommunicating Juan 
de Montbuy, charged with the execution of the Regent's 
decree, which was followed by the royal repeal of certain 
taxes peculiarly odious to the pagesos de remensa. The 
Estates of Catalonia thereupon proceeded to take the 
Queen to task after the approved manner of Aragon. 
Speaking plainly, as was their wont, more especially to 
their rulers, the Estates set before Dona Maria the 
inevitable outcome of her persistence in her now openly 
declared partisanship of the rebel manumitted serfs. 
Such an ill-advised sympathy could not fail, they 
declared, to result in open conflict between the people 
and their King, the former already threatening, if they 
were not fully enfranchised, to place themselves under 
the leadership of the King of France, the Dauphin, or 
Rene of Anjou a course which the Catalans actually 
followed in the next reign. We are willing, added the 
rebels, to give our money to the King, in return for our 
freedom ; but if we pay, and fail to obtain it, then, to 
a traitor King, traitor vassals ! 

Maria of Castile did not live to see the fulfilment of the 
Catalans' threat, nor the darker days of the Peasant 


Revolt ; but, had the free hand been given her which 
was never bestowed upon the loyal and self-sacrificing 
Regent, some of the troubles of the reign of Don Juan II 
might have been averted. Her successor as Queen of 
Aragon was not the woman to brook the democratic 

The year 1452 witnessed a visitation of the plague at 
Barcelona. On account of it, the Queen removed to 
Villafranca del Panades, where the Cortes was pro- 

Not until 1452 does it seem to have occurred to Don 
Alfonso that the burden which he had laid upon his 
wife's shoulders as far back as 1435, and which she had 
borne patiently and uncomplainingly ever since, was 
at length proving too great for her strength. The year 
was that in which he received the two envoys, Juan 
Ximenez Cerdan and the lawyer, Ramon de Palomar, 
deputed by the city of Barcelona to make one more 
effort to recall their sovereign to his forsaken allegiance. 
But in vain the ambassadors pointed to ruined and de- 
populated towns and untilled fields, fringing the borders 
of Castile, bearing tragic witness to the ever-present 
fears of invasion which brooded darkly over the minds of 
those who wearied for the return of the King who had 
forgotten them. The stage to which they summoned 
him was, however, too narrow, too obscure for one who 
had the soil of Italy for his battlefield. One grace at 
least, however, he would bestow upon his tired Queen. 
Three persons from each of the three estates of the 
realm were appointed to assist Dona Maria in her 
onerous task the Abbot of Ripoll, Roger de Cartella, 
the Count of Prades, Arnaldo de Vilademain, Luis de 
Castelui, Frabnces Dezpla, Bartholome Maull, Juan 
Pages, and Ramon de Palomar. 

The last years of Dona Maria's life were rendered 
darker by the insolent and shameless attempt of 
Lucrezia de Alagno to secure for herself the legal title 
of Queen by her marriage with her royal lover. The 
King's mistress made her solemn entry into Rome, 

[/. Laurent y Cia., Madrid 



October, 1457, her ostensible mission being to attempt 
to improve the strained relations subsisting between 
Alfonso and Calixtus III, who described the King of 
Naples as the " constant torment of the Church." 
Maria of Castile would have been past being hurt by the 
cruelty of Lucrezia's real mission in the Eternal City, 
or by " the almost regal honours " accorded to her 
rival, who was " received with as much pomp and 
honour as though she had been the Queen she aspired 
to be." For the true purpose with which the proud 
beauty journeyed to Eome was to induce the Pope to 
allow Alfonso to repudiate his faithful wife on the plea 
of her sterility, to enable him to marry his Neapolitan 
enchantress. But the Papacy, often the merciless 
arbiter of the destinies of royal wedded lives, was no 
less the champion and defender of conjugal virtue. It 
was not as her faithless consort would have requited 
her long devotion to his interests, that Calixtus III 
would have rewarded one who had shown so high an 
example of wifely loyalty. Lucrezia returned, rebuffed 
and disappointed, to Naples. 

The loneliness of the last months of the life of Maria 
of Castile were in harmony with the longer loneliness 
that had gone before. On August 23, 1457, she set out, 
though suffering, from Zaragoza, only to be overtaken 
at Segorbe, where she wished to spend the Virgin's 
birthday, September 8, by illness which compelled her 
to make a stay of three weeks in that city, hovering 
between life and death. As soon as she was convalescent, 
the physicians in attendance advised her to push on to 
Valencia without delay, and to spend the winter in that 
city. The journey was accomplished with great diffi- 
culty, the royal invalid being carried on men's shoulders, 
or in a litter. She arrived at Valencia, October 19, 1457, 
and died there September 4, 1458. 

By her last will and testament, duly witnessed by 
Bartholomew Serena, who was at once her secretary and 
public notary, and made at Zaragoza, in the Monastery 
of Santa Maria del Carmen, February 21, 1457, she con- 


stituted her husband universal legatee ; but the King 
having predeceased her, a second codicil transferring 
his rights to his brother and successor, Don Juan II, 
was added August 31, 1458, at Valencia. 


Birth of Dona Maria of Castile, 1401. 
Betrothed to Don Alfonso of Aragon, 1408. 
Their marriage solemnized at Valencia, 1415. 

Becomes Queen by the accession of her husband to the throne of 
Aragon, 1416. 

King Alfonso sails for Sicily, 1434. 
Her death, 1458. 




THERE is contrast and likeness, alike suggestive, between 
the names and lives of the last two Queens of Aragon. 
Both were Castilian, therefore proud and fearless. 
But the pride of Dona Maria was of that grave, serene 
order with which it is usual, even to this day, to asso- 
ciate it. The pride of Dona Juana de Enriquez, on the 
other hand, was that of the parvenue. In valour, 
neither yields the palm to the other, though the cam- 
paign of the one was carried out on the stage of politics, 
of the other in actual warfare. Leagues of unlikeness 
separate the two Queens when we come to look at their 
character and conduct. Each, indeed, fought for many 
years to keep a kingdom intact for a husband who, in 
the one case, never flung his faithful steward a word of 
thanks, and, in the other, was completely dominated 
by his life-partner. Both Queens were in close conflict, 
from which was born a bitter enmity, over the long and 
cruel persecution of the ill-fated Prince of Viana by his 
father and stepmother ; whilst we may be sure that no 
shaft of mockery and malice was left unwinged by 
Juana de Enriquez, the proud mother of a son who was 
to succeed to an inheritance greater even than her 
dreams had pictured, against the " barren woman " in 
her lonely Palace at Barcelona. One Queen was a 
peacemaker, desiring peace not for Castile, the land of 
her birth, alone, but for Aragon, the land of her adoption, 
as well. Juana de Enriquez sought no such unselfish 
gift for her husband's kingdom. She merely sought a 
crown for her son, and it was of greater moment to her 
that he should mount the throne of Castile, with Aragon 



and Navarre as appanages, than that he should rule 
over an undivided Aragon. If Juana de Enriquez was 
" the boldest and not the least skilful commander in the 
kingdom," Maria of Castile was one of the ablest ad- 
ministrators of any time. History has bestowed upon 
Alfonso V of Aragon the title of the Magnanimous ; to 
the wife who proved herself the best gift he bestowed 
upon the country which he abandoned, at a most critical 
period in its history, to her care, he never gave one 
magnanimous thought or word. 

In death, it may be, Maria of Castile and Juana de 
Enriquez had most in common ; if we seek in vain in 
the last will and testament of Alfonso V for the mention 
of the former's name, we find Juan II, sensualist in old 
age as in youth, forgetting the wife to whom he owed so 
much in the embraces of a young girl of the people 
after Dona Juana's death. 

Juana de Enriquez, Castilian-born, flits across the 
stage on which she was the last of the Queens of Aragon 
to play a part like the stormy petrel to which we have 
compared an earlier Queen, Dona Urraca of both 
Castile and Aragon. In her flight she traverses many 
an ancient town ; Estella, Sos, Tudela, Pampeluna, 
Olite are all associated with her name ; but it is in the 
steep streets of the venerable hill-city of Gerona, of 
which it has been truly said that after all its stirring 
past " it seems asleep," while the turbulent waters of 
the rushing Ona race by the battered walls and 
balconied houses, that one is most reminded of the 
tempestuous life and varied fortunes of the Lioness of 
Gerona, whose redeeming glory in the eyes of those who 
seek to cover the dark stain which attaches to her memory 
as stepmother of Charles of Viana is, that she was the 
mother of Ferdinand the Catholic. 

' Juana was the daughter, by his first marriage with 
Dona Marina de Cordova, of Don Fadrique de Enriquez, 
Admiral of Castile, the great opponent of his still more 
famous contemporary, Alvaro de Luna. She was, 
therefore, nursed and cradled amid those endless intrigues 


which distracted her native land throughout the most 
impressionable years of her life. It was not the best of 
schools for any child, certainly not for such a girl as the 
Admiral's daughter. She was witness, from her cradle, 
of the political see-saw, [manoeuvred by the factions of 
Alvaro de Luna and the Enriquez, hand and glove with 
the Aragonese Princes, which now exalted her father to 
the virtual ruler of the kingdom, now debased him to a 
proscribed fugitive. Imbibing, with all the ardour of a 
precocious child, the poison of such an atmosphere, 
she was as truly fitted, by heredity and early environ- 
ment, to be the wife of that arch-intriguer, Don Juan II 
of Aragon, as his first wife, the beautiful and noble 
Blanche of Navarre, had been utterly unsuited. To 
such a girl as Dona Juana. witness of the prolonged and 
desperate struggle for supremacy in Castile of the con- 
tending factions of her father and the powerful minister 
of the weak Juan II of Castile, that born conspirator, 
the King of Navarre, once Duke of Penafiel, must have 
seemed the beau-ideal of a lover. This handsome, 
graceful Prince, with his pale face and insinuating smile, 
his " white hands that any lady might have envied/' 
his fastidious tastes and his love of fine clothes, of jewels, 
of dancing and sport, to say nothing of his craft and 
falsity, was even more attractive to Juana de Enriquez 
as a widower than he had been when, as a gallant boy 
of eighteen, he had won the heart of that mystic and 
royal lady of whom he was so unworthy. Arrogant, 
ambitious, unscrupulous, beautiful, the appeal of the 
woman to the man must have been no less powerful 
than that of the man to the woman. There can be 
little doubt that his second wife had marked her quarry 
down long before the death of his wise and good Queen 
Blanche set him free to offer Dona Juana his hand. 
She was not the woman to be disposed of at the bidding 
of any man, least of all at that of the little, short- 
sighted, crafty father whom she ruled with a rod of 
iron, and who was afterwards content to use his high 
office in Castile as a means of extracting information of 


the doings and projects of highly placed personages 
which, transmitted to his imperious daughter, were 
quickly turned to her own ends. But fate for long 
seemed to fight on the side of Navarre and the children 
of Blanche. The betrothal, indeed, took place September 
1, 1444, but it was not until three years later that the 
solemn ceremony at Tour de Lobaton, the residence of 
the Admiral, was ratified at Calatayud. Obstacle upon 
obstacle multiplied to bar Dona Juana's way to a throne. 
First, the Papal dispensation, necessary to the marriage 
between contracting parties related in the fourth degree, 
seems to have been slow in forthcoming. Next inter- 
vened the utter defeat of the Admiral's faction at the 
battle of Olmedo, where Don Juan of Navarre was 
wounded, and compelled to take refuge, to its final un- 
doing, in his late wife's little kingdom. Dona Juana, 
however, seems to have consoled herself for the delay 
to her ambitious hopes by assuming the style and title 
of Queen of Navarre, under which title she was found 
by the victorious troops of the King of Castile keeping a 
Court composed of one lady, Dona Teresa de Quinones, 
in the Castle of Medina del Rio Seco, after her father's 
defeat at Olmedo. Both ladies were taken prisoners by 
the King, though they were treated with every con- 
sideration. The Prince of the Asturias having obtained 
the Admiral's pardon, May 14, 1446, his daughter was 
restored to him, with the proviso that she was not to be 
sent to Navarre without the King's permission. A fresh 
delay to the marriage, which, says Moret, " the furies 
must have inspired Don Juan to contract," was caused 
by the flames of Atienza, but the summer of 1447 saw 
Dona Juana at last united to the husband who, in spite 
of all her faults, remained, for the twenty years of their 
married life, the overlord in whose service she spent 
lavishly and to the utmost all those qualities of finesse 
and courage which she cannot be denied. Those who 
declare that Dona Juana was the tool of her husband, 
the unwilling accomplice of his crimes, strangely misread 
the character of the two. Hers was the master-mind 


that not only conceived, but executed, with unerring 
aim, all the plots and counter-plots, as well as the secret 
conspiracies, of his reign. A woman with all the armoury 
of woman's craft al her command, a fierce hater, affecting 
modesty and simplicity, dissolving into floods of tears 
when it suited her, she was, at the same time, possessed 
of a man's daring courage, invincible tenacity, energy, 
resolution, decision, and grasp of military and diplomatic 
affairs. The daughter who had governed her father was 
not likely to be less the governor of her husband, that 
husband the restless, treacherous, superstitious Don 
Juan II of Aragon. Dona Juana was now free to assume 
in reality the royal state which she had flaunted before 
the world from the day of her betrothal. Its new Queen 
came, not as a blessing, but as a curse, to Navarre. 

No more ill-omened entry has ever been made in 
history, though it was the coming of a father to his son's 
kingdom. Recovered from the wounds which he had 
received at Olmedo, Don Juan quickly recognized that 
a new stage for his restless talents lay ready to his hand. 
Ably seconded by his evil genius, Dona Juana, he was 
not slow to discover flaws in the will by which Queen 
Blanche had hoped to make her son's inheritance secure. 
Within its borders, moreover, as within those of the 
sister kingdom in which he no longer had a footing, 
two powerful factions, those of the Agramontes and the 
Beaumonts, were ever ready to fly at each other's 
throats, and equally ready, therefore, to fling themselves 
into any conflict that seemed to promise a chance of 
striking a blow at the adversary. The torch of war, 
kindled in Navarre by the treachery and ambition of the 
Duke and Duchess of Penafiel, was only to be quenched 
in the blood of the gentle and cultured Prince whom 
they had resolved to despoil of his rights. The King and 
Prince of Castile the latter of whom had but recently 
repudiated the eldest daughter of Don Juan and Blanche 
of Navarre, whose history was to be no less tragic than 
that of her brother hurried to the assistance of the 
Prince of Viana. While the news sent Don Juan post- 


haste from Zaragoza to repel the threatened invasion 
of Navarre, the Duchess of Penafiel, or, Queen of 
Navarre, as she now styled herself, shut herself up in 
Estella, where she defied the invaders. The battle of 
Aibar followed, in which the father won, and the son, 
taken prisoner, was sent into captivity at Monroy. 
During his captivity, the Prince of Viana learned of the 
birth, at the little town of Sos, in Aragon, on March 10, 
1452, of his famous half-brother, Ferdinand, afterwards 
the Catholic sovereign of United Spain. It is uncertain 
whether the friction between the stepmother and stepson 
which must have dated from the first entrance of the 
Queen into Navarre blazed into open hostility from the 
moment of the birth of Dona Juana's own son. It had 
been so with other Queens ; there is no reason to suppose 
that the mother of Don Juan's second son looked with 
kindlier eyes, because of that birth, on the son of a dead 
woman who barred her own child's way to a throne. 
It has been suggested that the hatred of Dona Juana for 
the luckless Prince had its origin at a banquet, given by 
the Queen in honour of her father, the Admiral, in 1451, 
at which she made the insolent request that the Prince 
should rise from table and serve her and her father, as 
though he were majordomo, and not rightful King of 
Navarre. The Prince, it is said, was in the act of 
complying, out of regard for the father's wife, with this 
outrageous demand, when he was forcibly dissuaded by 
Don Luis de Beaumont, who bade him keep his seat. 
From that moment, it is declared, Dona Juana was 
resolved that nothing should stand between her and her 
ambitions for the son who was born amid strife and 
alarms, though his baptism at Zaragoza was made the 
occasion for such a display of pomp as had hitherto 
been unknown save at the baptisms of the heirs to the 
throne. His sponsors were the two chief jurats of 
Zaragoza, Kamon de Castellon and Cypres de Paternoy, 
Don Jorge de Bardaxi, Bishop of Tarragona, adminis- 
tering the rite of baptism. Dona Juana played her 
cards as well as her native diplomacy would have led 


us to expect. Throughout the long and tragic struggle 
between father and son which is best told in the history 
of the unhappy, cultured, and disinherited Prince of 
Viana, it is always the King who comes well to the front 
as the cruel parent, the usurping tyrant. If Dona 
Juana permits the veil to be swept aside for a moment 
upon her share in the long tragedy, it is to let her be 
seen as the tender mother, interceding for a rebellious 
son, as the angel in the house who wept over the domestic 
discord which she would have given her life to heal. 
Juan II has sins enough to be laid to his charge ; but 
his wife cannot therefore go scatheless. It cannot be 
doubted that she, whose influence over the King was 
all-powerful, was not the woman to stand aside while 
his inveterate animosity pursued his eldest son through 
exile to his mysterious death, and deliberately con- 
signed his daughter, the unhappy Dona Blanca, to 
the custody of her sister and brother-in-law, the Count 
and Countess of Foix, to be done to death at their 
hands, for no other crime than her devotion to the 
person and cause of her brother. Dona Juana was 
cognizant of all the twistings and turnings in that 
devious path by which she compelled her complaisant 
consort to do her secret bidding. 

If we are to seek for an exhibition of the military 
talents of Juana de Enriquez, we must look to the siege 
of Gerona ; but for a display of her more womanly 
qualities, of her matchless diplomacy, her evasiveness, 
her trickeries and subterfuges, we must turn to those 
prolonged negotiations of 1459, when, from March 20 
to April 21, and again for two more months, she pitted 
her woman's wit against all the combined forces of 
the Deputation of Barcelona, the champions and guar- 
dians of her stepson. The events of those weeks are 
tragi-comedy. The Prince of Viana, whom the death 
of his uncle, Alfonso V, had deprived of a generous host 
and powerful friend, was now left, though heir to the 
throne of Aragon and rightful King of Navarre, at the 
utter mercy of his pitiless father. Summoned to Spain, 


he obeys the call, although plainly warned, by the Court 
physician himself, not to come to Lerida, where the 
Court was then in residence, as " something difficult of 
digestion might be given him " ! Deceived by the 
cordiality of his welcome, he falls the more easily a prey 
to the cruel coils that are being woven round his unwary 
steps. Dona Juana has not only her plans, but her 
spies, in Castile. Her arch-spy, the old Admiral, who 
stands in no less awe of his imperious daughter as a 
Queen and at a distance than he did in her domineering 
girlhood, whispers of secret negotiations carried on by 
the Prince of Viana with the King of Castile. So 
perilous a possibility as an alliance with Castile must 
be prevented at all costs. From that quarter, Dona 
Juana had high hopes for her own son, with which the 
son of a dead mother must not be allowed to interfere. 
It is not clear when the precise moment arrived when 
Dona Juana began to give shape, in her restless and 
intriguing brain, to her master-ambition for her son. 
Even as late as 1467, the year before her death, we find 
her to all outward appearance submissively discussing 
with her husband the proposals of marriage which 
Pierre de Peralta, Constable of Navarre, had been 
charged to negotiate between her daughter, the In- 
fanta Juana, and Don Alfonso, brother of the King of 
Castile, in revolt against the latter, and between Don 
Ferdinand, heir of Aragon, and Dona Beatriz Pacheco, 
daughter of the ambitious Marquis of Villena, who, it 
is said, not being able to marry his daughter to a King, 
aspired to a King's son. But an event which occurred 
seven months before Dona Juana's own death, the 
death, namely, of Don Alfonso, July 5, 1467, prob- 
ably brought the Queen's decision to a head, and 
induced her to bequeath to her husband and son, as 
her last imperious charge, the policy which dictated 
the signing, at Cervera, January 7, 1469, a year after 
her death, of the marriage treaty between Don Ferdinand 
and his cousin, the Infanta Isabella, ultimate heiress to 
the throne of Castile. 


Zurita maintains that it was Don Juan, and not his 
wife, who was set on the marriage with the heiress of 
Castile, and that his own acquiescence in the proposals 
of the Marquis of Villena was a mere feint in order to 
gain time in which to watch the progress of events in 
the sister-kingdom. 

The whisper transmitted from the vigilant father-in- 
law was permitted to filter through to the son-in-law's 
ear. Coming from such a source, it was a warning to be 
heeded. If rumour were not lying, here was an enemy to 
be got rid of, no longer a son to pity or to pardon. But 
the Prince, culprit or criminal, has Don Juan's Catalan 
subjects behind him. He is the idol, who went near to 
being the patron saint, of Barcelona, which rises as one 
man to safeguard his person and his rights, demanding 
that, for the better security of the former, he shall be 
lodged in their midst. Moreover, he must come alone ; 
they will have none of the Castilian woman, his step- 
mother, whom they altogether and profoundly distrust. 
But the Castilian woman, her husband's representative 
at the moment in Aragon, Don Juan's hands being full 
with the affairs of Navarre, desires nothing in the world 
so much as to pose in public in that role which she has 
now definitely adopted that of the tender mother, 
rather than stepmother, of the Catalans' adored Prince. 
She begins a few days after the arrest of Don Carlos at 
Lerida, and his subsequent removal, as a prisoner, to 
Aytona, by ingratiating herself into the good graces of the 
deputies whom the States-General of Catalonia despatch 
in hot haste to remonstrate boldly with the King on his 
treatment of his son. Hardly have they emerged from 
their unsatisfactory audience of the irritated King, when 
they are met, on the very threshold of the presence- 
chamber, by the smiling and soothing reassurances of 
the Queen, who intimates that, although she fears it 
will be useless to attempt to re-open the subject that 
day, yet, for her part, she promises them that nothing 
shall be left undone to bring about that better state of 
things between father and son which she, no less than 


they, his best friends, so ardently desires. Her gracious- 
ness completely disarms them. They write high praise 
to Barcelona of her " discretion and intelligence/' She 
cannot do enough to disperse the mists of unjust sus- 
picion which have obscured the minds of those who have 
the Prince's welfare at heart. Judiciously, she lets it 
be known that it is she, who, travelling post-haste over 
fearful roads, comes as an angel of deliverance to open 
the gates of Don Carlos's prison-house at Morella. 
She plays her role to perfection. The captive awaits 
her arrival in the hall of the castle, and, advancing, as 
she alights from her litter, desires to kiss her hand. At 
first she demurs one must not be too lenient with a 
culprit, after all but yielding, she eventually permits 
him to kiss, not only her hand, but her lips. Then, 
retiring with him to his apartments, she sits and talks to 
him with such maternal kindness, as to draw tears from 
the eyes of all who hear her. The Prince is free to give 
practical proof of the fact, he goes to dine with one of 
the principal citizens of Morella, but Dona Juana is also 
of the company. With great outward good comradeship, 
stepmother and stepson ride together to Trahiguera, 
to Tortosa, to Perello ; but all this display of maternal 
solicitude fails to deceive Barcelona, ever on the watch. 
The Queen sends her steward, Mossen Luis de Vich, to 
announce her intention of escorting the Prince to the 
capital of Catalonia. The States-General beg that she will 
do nothing of the kind. If she persists in doing so, the 
authorities refuse to be responsible for her personal 
safety. In vain Dona Juana pleads, cajoles, sheds 
floods of tears, is stupefied at such base ingratitude on 
the part of those for whom she has worked so loyally 
is not their Prince free, as she had promised he should 
be ? Is she, to whom he owes his liberty, to be debarred 
from sharing in his triumphal entry, from partaking of 
the " splendid collation," the " sugar-cakes, preserves, 
and all manner of choice wines," with which Barcelona 
was about to regale him ? The States-General regret that 
so it must be. She must come no nearer to the capital 


than Sant Boy de Llobregat, one league from Barcelona. 
There, all the weapons of her woman's armoury having 
for once proved useless, she hears, with fury in her 
heart, though her sttiiles, we may believe, never forsook 
her, the acclamations of the city which had refused her 
entrance, hailing with delirious shouts of joy " Carlos, 
first-born and heir of Aragon and Sicily, whom God 
preserve ! " And listening, as those exultant cries were 
borne across the distance to her ear, she rejoiced to 
know they sealed his death-warrant ; she remembered, 
with sinister satisfaction, that the Prince's constitution 
had been undermined by his exile in the enervating air 
of Naples ; that he had been often tired, and frequently 
compelled to rest, on their progress from Morella ; that 
the robust and gallant boyhood of her idolized Ferdinand 
was in such splendid contrast to the enfeebled health of 
his stepbrother. She had need to fall back upon such 
reflections as these, rebuffed and thwarted and humiliated 
as she found herself at every turn. Tarraza, taking its 
cue from Barcelona, closed its gates at her approach, 
sounding the tocsin, as though to give warning that an 
enemy was at hand. 

Her cunning does not fail her when it comes to the 
prolonged negotiations between herself, as Don Juan's 
lieutenant, and the Deputation of Barcelona, fighting 
as much for their hereditary liberties as for the Prince of 
Viana. Her adversaries find her apparently docile, 
prone to weep, but in reality adamant, implacable, 
imperious in her demands that numerous clauses in the 
proposed treaty between the Catalans and their sovereign 
shall be eliminated, as derogatory to the honour of the 
King. She has her spies even in the States-General. It 
was possibly on their suggestion that a gift of 200,000 livres 
is proposed to be offered to the Infante Ferdinand, in 
order to induce his mother to have the treaty signed 
with the least possible delay. She does not let go her 
point in the matter of her entrance into Barcelona, 
which the citizens politely continue to resist. Vainly 
she complains that in one town she has been unable to 


sleep, because the lodging assigned to her is infested with 
vermin ; that, at another, she is ill, and wishes to take 
medicine ! A more suitable lodging shall be found for 
her ; but the pressing matter is that of the signing of 
the treaty. From March 20 to April 21, the struggle 
goes on. Three hours' persuasion and expostulation 
are needed to induce her to yield in the other matter of 
remaining away from Barcelona. On Holy Thursday, 
after having attended all the services of the day, she 
receives the deputies at eight o'clock in the evening, and 
a few days later departs for Zaragoza, carrying with 
her the modified treaty, to be submitted to the King. 
Certain of the deputies, however, whom she cordially 
invites to accompany her on her journey, politely and 
prudently decline the invitation. Out of sight is out 
of mind ; on May 10, no news having arrived from the 
Queen, the notary, En (Don) Brujo, is despatched to 
Zaragoza, on the delicate mission of compelling the 
immediate signature of the treaty. The ambassador of 
the States-General reaches the Aragonese capital on May 
13. The Queen receives him at ten o'clock in the morning 
in a crimson quilted dressing-gown, in which Don 
Brujo fails to recognize her until she graciously makes 
herself known, and, as he kneels to kiss her hand, " em- 
braces him in royal fashion." En Brujo proceeds to 
broach the subject of his embassy. The Queen declares 
that she cannot be hurried. That same evening she 
departs for Villamayor, three leagues from Barcelona. 
En Brujo follows and overtakes her. Her secretary, 
she tells him, has not yet arrived, He spends the 
evening in her company, " listening, but speaking 
little." At eleven he has earned the price of his im- 
portunity. The Queen, " to get rid of him," bids the 
Master of Montesa act as her secretary, and, the 
hour being so late, a ring belonging to one of the 
ladies of the Court is used to seal the letter. 
It was not until June 24, however, that the treaty 
was actually signed whereby the Prince of Viana 
was confirmed in his office of Lieutenant-General of 


Catalonia, a title which he was to hold for so brief 
a period. 

With the acquittal or accusation of Juana de Enriquez 
concerning her stepson's death, history has had much 
to say. That she regretted it, none who know the heart 
of a strong woman greedily ambitious for her own child, 
can for one moment suppose. When she knelt for the 
first and last time in homage at the coffin of the dead 
Prince, signing it with the cross, and kissing the black 
velvet pall, whatever darker thoughts passed through 
the silence of that farewell which was either sincere, or 
hideous mockery, it is certain that it was with relief 
that she rose from her knees, to hail her Ferdinand heir 
to Aragon in his stead. 

The way to his peaceable possession of Navarre, to 
which he had brought no peace, but a sword, scarcely 
ever sheathed since the death of his first wife, had been 
cleared, indeed, for Don Juan, by the removal from that 
path of his son and daughter, but in the rest of his 
dominions, the flutes, drums, and trumpets of the 
insurgent Catalonians seemed to herald the downfall 
of his dynasty. France and Castile hovered like ex- 
pectant vultures on his borders. The people, who 
regarded the untimely death of the Prince of Viana as 
that of a national hero and martyr, were loud in their 
execrations and denunciations of the King and Queen, 
and the outlook was dark indeed. But the torch of 
Juana de Enriquez' dauntless courage still burned in 
her strong hand. That warlike music which struck 
terror into the hearts of the towns of Aragon as it surged 
by, breathing the quenchless aspirations of a people set 
on liberty after centuries of thraldom, was to her a call 
to arms. Flinging herself into the thick of the fray, 
and taking up her residence at Gerona, she made it 
known that it was her intention to quell the rebellion 
against the royal authority at all costs. She was aided 
in her task, as Urraca of Castile, whom she so closely 
resembles, was aided in hers, by a notable counsellor, 
the famous Juan Margarit of Moles, a native of Ampur- 


dan, sworn foe of the plebeian rebels, and determined, in 
league with the Queen, to curb the disaffection amongst 
the peasantry, by stern measures, if necessary. An 
infuriated populace flung themselves against the walls 
of that city whose lot it has been so often to suffer the 
stress and shock of siege. On the fall of the outer 
defences of the town, the Queen and her party were 
forced to take refuge in the ancient fortress known as the 
Gironella, which was defended, under the personal 
direction of the Queen, with incredible valour. Again 
and again, inspired by the presence amongst them of a 
woman who betrayed none of a woman's weakness, but 
rather put her soldiers to shame, the defenders hurled 
back the assaults of the besiegers. So furious was the 
combat, that in one day five thousand arrows were 
launched against the stout old walls, while the flower of 
Aragon's knights perished in the siege. Gerona was 
saved for Aragon, at the cost of the cession to France, 
in return for its aid, of Eoussillon and Cerdagne, long 
coveted by the crafty Louis XL The valiant Queen, 
sword in hand, defending her husband's throne, as no 
other Queen in history has ever defended the cause of a 
worthless sovereign, takes the stage of the long struggle 
in the wars of Catalonia as a heroine whom we could 
well wish more whole-heartedly to admire. She swept 
the rebel towns with untiring energy, braving the hard- 
ships of the camp, and the perils of long journeys in the 
midst of a people to whom her very name was odious, 
scarcely consenting to take a much-needed rest when both 
she and her son, whose inheritance she was fighting 
so passionately to preserve, were stricken down by 
fever at San Jordi Desvalls for several days. Hardly 
convalescent, she was called upon to face new dangers 
which threatened Aragon from an unexpected quarter. 
The Catalans, in hot, sustained revolt against their 
sovereign, had summoned Don Pedro of Portugal, 
nephew of the dead Count of Urgel, to assume the crown 
which Don Juan's subjects declared forfeit. The blood 
of intrigue ran in Don Pedro's veins ; for two years, he 


added greatly to the accumulating troubles of the latter 
part of Don Juan's life ; but on June 29, 1466, the 
Portuguese pretender was removed in what Mr. Burke 
calls " the accustomed manner " ; or, to quote Zurita, 
" he was given herbs." But his successor was quickly 
found. The rebel Catalans now sought the aid of the 
famous Rene of Anjou, who deputed his son, John, 
Duke of Calabria and Lorraine, to accept their lordship 
by proxy. The crafty Louis XI of France, who had 
come to the help of Dona Juana at Gerona for the price 
of Roussillon and Cerdagne, now permitted the army of 
Lorraine, eight thousand strong, to march through the 
first of the ceded provinces. In spite of the heroic 
defence offered to the invaders by the untamed Lioness 
of Gerona, who was supported in this, her last campaign, 
by her youthful son, Don Fernando, and by the King's 
bastard, the Archbishop of Zaragoza, more apt with 
sword than crozier, the royal troops were completely 
defeated before the fateful city of Gerona. Don Fer- 
nando narrowly escaped capture at the hands of his 
enemies, and only owed his life to the valour of Don 
Rodrigo de Rebolledo, who bravely defended the Infante 
at the risk of his own safety, when beset by a detach- 
ment of the invading forces while convoying supplies 
to Gerona. Had not the rigours of a severe winter 
intervened, it is probable that the young heir of Aragon 
would have been bereft of his inheritance, so constantly 
did fortune seem to favour the army of Lorraine. Hard 
pressed as she was on all sides, Dona Juana found time 
to arrange, on March 25, 1467, at Tarragona, the mar- 
riage of her sister, Dona Aldonza de Enriquez, upon 
whom she bestowed a dowry of 15,000 florins, with Don 
Juan Ramon Folch de Cardona, Constable of Aragon, 
son of Don Juan, Count of Prades. 

On June 6, 1467, the Catalan army appeared before 
the walls of Gerona. The Queen and the Archbishop 
immediately ordered the gates to be closed, which so 
exasperated the troops that the Count of Pallars, their 
commander, had much difficulty in restraining them. 


In the midst of the confusion, a certain Sampso, of the 
Queen's faction, appeared upon the city walls, and 
addressed the beleaguers in the most opprobrious 
terms. Whereupon, the Catalans, flinging themselves 
with terrific fury upon the walls, carried the outer 
defences by assault, the Queen and her defenders being 
forced to take refuge in the high tower of the inner 
fortifications, known as La Gironella. On the following 
day the troops of the States-General set to work to make 
a wooden tower, to open mines and breaches, the soldiers 
being animated by the supposed apparition of the 
Blessed S. Charles of Viana in the air animating the 

A year before her death, Dona Juana gave signal 
proof of her prudent policy with regard to Navarre by 
the noteworthy alliance which she concluded with her 
stepdaughter, the Countess of Foix, at Exea, June 21, 
1467, whereby the latter was confirmed in her present 
rights as Lieutenant- Governor of Navarre during her 
father's lifetime, and in her future succession to the 
twofold inheritance for which she had stained her hands 
with the murder of her sister the kingdom of Navarre 
and the Duchy of Nemours. By this unparalleled 
instance of two women taking the military and knightly 
oath (to be friends of each other's friends and enemies 
of each other's enemies), Dona Juana left her own and 
her husband's hands free to deal with the more pressing 
problems now presented for solution by the invasion 
of the Duke of Lorraine. It may be that the Queen, 
mistress as she was of statecraft, distrusted this step- 
daughter whose methods had served her own ends so 
well. The Infanta Leonor was her father's daughter ; 
like him, coldly calculating and unscrupulous ; an enemy 
to be reckoned with, an ally to be sought and bound by 
the most stringent treaties. Thus, in the presence of 
the Archbishop of Zaragoza and the Bishop of Pampe- 
luna, Queen Juana took the oath which made her own 
grip on Navarre secure before going forth to pit her 
woman's wit against a great military leader, as she 


had pitted it against the grave, plain councillors of 

Death, which alone could quench that fiery spirit, 
came to Juana de Enricjuez in dreadful guise. The 
cancer in the breast with which she was stricken after 
the death of her stepson was popularly believed to be a 
righteous punishment following on that death, of which 
the Catalonian subjects at least of Don Juan II never 
ceased to hold her guilty, however much dispassionate 
investigation in later times has acquitted her of any 
share in the last chapter of the tragedy of Charles of 
Viana. To the domain of legend, also, if calmer critics 
have proved their case, must be assigned that bitter 
death-bed cry of the Lioness of Gerona, " Ah, my son, 
my son ! What hast thou not cost me ! " Words which, 
it is said, were wrung from the dying Queen when, on 
making a confession of her supposed guilt to her husband, 
the King turned from his consort with loathing. The 
Court kept the Christmas of 1467 at Tarragona, in the 
midst of war, for the country was still in the throes of 
internal conflict, as well as overrun by the troops of the 
Duke of Lorraine. Peace was but a bitter mockery in 
the ears of the dying Queen and her husband ; yet there 
was marrying and giving in marriage at the Court. 
November witnessed the union of Troilos Carrillo, son 
of the Archbishop of Toledo, and Dona Juana, the 
motherless daughter of the Constable Pedro de Peralta, 
Count of St. Stephen, whilst in January the hand of 
Dona Leonor, natural daughter of Don Juan, by whom 
she had been previously legitimized, was bestowed, 
together with a dowry of 15,000 florins, upon Don Luis 
de Beaumont, Count of Lerin, son of the powerful Don 
Luis de Beaumont, Constable of Navarre. The Queen 
slowly grew worse ; her place at the Cortes, which were 
to be held at Zaragoza, whither the Court removed in the 
New Year, was taken by her son, Don Ferdinand. On 
February 13, a Saturday, his mother passed away in 
the capital of Aragon after much suffering. By her will, 
to which she affixed her signature on the day of her death, 


Dona Juana appointed as her executors, the King, Don 
Luis Despuch, Master of Montesa, and Dona Isabel de 
Mur, niece of the Archbishop of Zaragoza, Don Dalmao 
de Mur, and wife of Don Pedro de Urrea, Viceroy of 
Valencia, the Queen's mistress of the Robes, and her 
favourite lady ; Pedro Miguel, Archdeacon of Belchit, 
and Vicar-General of Zaragoza, and Messire Ferrer, 
Prior of the Church of San Salvador of Zaragoza. The 
testatrix took practical thought at the moment of her 
death for the future of her sister, Dona Aldonza de 
Enriquez, betrothed to Don Juan de Cardona, Constable 
of Aragon, son of the Count of Prades, to whom she 
bequeathed 15,000 florins as dowry. To Don Gerau de 
Espez, her chief majordomo, was left 20,000 sueldos, 
while to Don Lopez de Gurrea charge was given to pay 
off all debts which she and the King had been forced to 
contract owing to therr prolonged and ruinous wars. 
To her only daughter, the Infanta Juana, whose sisters, 
the Infantas Leonor and Marina, had predeceased their 
mother, the Queen left her jewels and an annuity of 
4000 golden florins for her dowry, directing that Dona 
Isabel de Mur should continue in her service, as well as 
Dona Brianda de Mur, sister of the latter, who was the 
wife of Don Nicolas Carroz de Arborea, Viceroy of 
Sardinia, and Dona Maria de Cerdan, wife of Don Pedro 
Rodrigo de Rebolledo. Appointing her son universal 
legatee, and bequeathing to the Friars of the Order of 
St. Jeronimo all her property in Castile which she had 
inherited from her mother, Dona Marina de Cordova, 
and her grandmother, Dona Inez de Ayala, she directed 
that her executors should assign some part of her 
Castilian estate for the foundation of a monastery for 
the said Friars. The dead Queen was laid to rest in the 
Convent of Poblet, where her ashes mingle with those 
of her ill-fated stepson. 

If we cannot altogether endorse the eulogies of 
Zurita, who pronounces Juana de Enriquez to have been 
" an excellent and valiant Princess," yet we can well be- 
lieve that her death, coming as it did when Don Juan had 


never stood in such need of her counsel, was a heavier 
blow to her consort than all the troubles and tragedies 
they had surmounted together in the past. That he 
mourned for his admirable helpmeet with unshaken 
faith and constancy was not to be expected from the 
royal sensualist. Documents long discreetly hidden 
from the public ken, but brought to light within the last 
few years, prove that the last years of the aged and 
widowed monarch's solitude were cheered by the com- 
panionship of a young girl of Zaragoza, apparently of 
humble birth, who, after the King's death, " easily 
found a husband/' as we are told, although the latter 's 
complaisance did not extend to the point of bestowing, 
without protest, upon his bride the arras, or morning- 
gift, usually associated with an untarnished reputation. 
But, whatever empire seemed to usurp the place of the 
dead Queen, Juana de Enriquez was never forgotten ; 
nor can Spain of to-day forget her who was the mother 
of Ferdinand the Catholic. 


Betrothal of the King of Navarre and Dona Juana de Enriquez, 1444. 

Her marriage, 1447. 

Birth of their son, afterwards Ferdinand the Catholic, 1452. 

Intrigues against her stepson, the Prince of Viana, 1452-9. 

Campaign in the Ampurdan, 1460. 

Alliance with her stepdaughter, Dona Leonor of Navarre, 1467. 

Death of Dona Juana, 1468. 


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Ferreras, J. de, Histoire d'Espange. 

Fita y Colome, Fidal, Los Reys de Arago. 

Florez, Henrique, Las Reynas Catholicas. 

Foz, Braulio, Historia del Aragon. 

Fuente, C. de, Estudios Criticos. 

Gazeau, A., Les Bouffons. 

Germain, A. C., Histoire de Montpellier. 

Histoire du Commerce de Montpellier. 

Gimenez Soler, A., Itinerario del Rey Alfonso V. 
Gomez Miedes, B., La Historia del Rey Don Jayme. 
Guignard, A., Histoire de la Conquete de Naples. 

Hartin, J. E., Bibliotheca Accipitraria. 
Henry of Aragon, Arte Cisoria. 
Hernandez, M., Las Cosas de Aragon. 
Heyd, W., Le Commerce du Levant. 
Hinojosa, E. de, Historia del Derecho Espanol. 

Ibarra y Rodriguez, E., Coleccion de documentos para la Historia & 


Jaubert de Passa, J. F., Voyage en Espagne. 
Jubinal, M. L. A., Jongleurs el Trouveres. 

La Curne de Sainte-Pelaye, J. B. de, History of the Troubadours. 

Le Magasin Pittoresque, 1883, etc. 

Leonardo y Argensola, B., Anales de Aragon. 

Lope de Stuniga, Cancionero. 

Lopez, Louis, Tropheos de Zaragoza. 

Lopez de Ayala, Pedro of Castile. 

Lyonnet, H., A tr avers I' Espagne Inconnue. 

Madoz, P., Diccionario de Espana. 

Magnin, Ch., Histoire des Marionnettes. 

Mariana, Historia general de Espana. 

Marichalar, A. and Manrique, C., Historia de la Legislation de 

Masdeu y Montero, J. F. de, Historia critica de Espana. 

Mas Latrie, E. de, Chronique de Chypre. 

Massot-Reynier, J., Les Coutumes de Perpignan. 

Metge, B,, Le Songe. 

Michel, F., Recherches sur la Commerce. 

Michelet, Jules, La Sorciere. 

Millort, C. F. X., Histoire des Troubadours. 

Monfars y Sors, D., Historia de los Condes de Urgel. 

Morales, A. de, Viaje. 

Moreau, P., Fous et Bouffons. 

Morel-Fatiou, A., Etudes sur V Espagne. 

Moret, J. de, Anales de Navarre. 

Moucheron, P., Sainte Elisabeth d* Aragon. 

Munoz y Manzano, C., Las Cronistas de Aragon. 

Murguia, Manuel, Don Diego Gelmirez. 

Historia de Galicia. 

Osma, G. J. de, Apuntes sobre Cerdmica Morisca. 

Paz, Abdon de, La Espana de la Edad Media. 

Pella y Forgas, J., Historia del Ampurddn. 

Perez, J., Historia del Real Monasterio de Sahagun. 

Peter IV of Aragon, Cronica del Rey. 

Piferrer, P., Cataluna. 

Piles, Ibans A., Valencia Arabe. 

Ponz, A., Viaje de Espana. 

Puiggiari, J., Monografia historica. 

Estudios de Indumentaria. 

Quadrado, Jose de, Aragon. 

Quintana, Lives of Celebrated Spaniards. 


Ramon de Huesca, Teatro Historica. 

Raynouard, F. J. M., Choix des Poesies des Troubadours. 

Espagne et Provence. 

Revista de Archivos, 1897, etc. 

Revista de Ciencias Historicas, 1880, etc. 

Revista de Espana, 1888. 

Revista Historica. 

Revue Hispanique. 

Revue des Pyrenees, 1907. 

Ripa, Domingo la, Corona Real del Pirineo. 

Ripault-Desormeaux, J. L., Histoire d' Espagne. 

Romey, L. C. R. G. 0., Histoire de V Espagne. 

Ruano Prieto, F., Don Juan II yle Principe de Viana. 

Saez, L., Monedas de Enrique IV. 

Samarau, C., La Maison d'Armagnac. 

Sandoval, P. de, Historia de los Reyes de Castilla. 

Sanpere y Miguel, Las Costunibres Catalanes. 

Schlumberger, G. L., Le tombeau d'une Imperatrice byzantine. 

Schmidt, E. A., Geschichte Aragoniens im Mittelalter. 

Sempere y Guarinos, J., Historia del luxo. 

Smith, Justin H., The Troubadours at Home. 

Sociedad Espanola de Excursiones, 1906, etc. 

Sociedad Geographica de Madrid, 1876, etc. 

Soto, S. M. de, El Trage de los Espanoles. 

Stoddard, C., Spanish Cities. 

Tarrago, J. Ribera, Origenes del Justicia de Aragon. 
Toda, E., Guia de Espana. 
Tomich, P., Historia de los Reyes de Aragon. 
Tourtoulon, C. de, Don Jaime I. 

Etudes sur la Maison de Barcelone. 

Tramoyeres Blasco, Luis, Institutiones Gremiales de Valencia. 

Urena y Smenjaud, R. de, Las Ediciones de los Fueros. 

Vaissete, J., Histoire de Languedoc. 

Van de Put, A., The Aragonese Double Crown. 

Viardot, Louis, Jfitudes sur Vhistoire des Beaux-Arts en Espagne. 

Vidal, P., Histoire de Perpignan. 

Monuments historiques de Roussillon. 

Villaescusa, H. H. de, Las Provincias de Espana. 
Villanueva, J., Viage liter ario a las Iglesias de Espana. 
Vuillier, G., Les lies oubliees. 


Williams, Leonard, The Arts and Crafts of Older Spain 
Wyatt, Sir M. H., Architect's Notebook in Spain. 

Ximenez, F., Libro de las Donas. 

Ximenez de Embun y Val, T., La Antigua Zaragoza 

Zurita, Geronimo, Anales de la Corona de Aragon 


Aceytuni, 248, 251, 269-70, 274 * 

Adelmodis, 30 

Agnes of Castile, 84-5 

Alagno, Lucrezia, 292, 294, 304-5 

Alburquerque, see Leonor 

Alfaneque, 39 

Alfonso I, 19, 50-3, 62 


III, 138-9 

IV, 161-7, 169-75, 177 

V, 286-301, 304-5 

of Castile, 44-50, 54, 58, 60 
Alimbares, 226. 

Aljaferia, the, 127, 136, 166-7, 192, 

245, 251-3, 267, 274, 277-8 
Allegory, 272-3 
Alojas, 226 
Alquezar, 37 
Almocalla, 41 
Anduza, Clara de, 33 
Aragon, Kingdom of, 17-18 

Geographical features, 17-18. 

Parliament of, 21-2 
Armagnac, Dona Matha d', Duchess 

of Gerona, 210-17, 232 

Jean I, Comte de, 210, 212 
Arras, 23 

Avila, 47 

Axovar, 23 

Ayvar, Doiia Caia de, 28 


Barbuquejo, the, 36 

Barcelona, the city of, 65-6, 105 

Counts of, 62-4 

Beatrice of Suabia, 36 

Berry, Jean, Due de, 212, 214, 228 

Bezoar stone, 214-15 

Blanca, Dona, of Anjou and Aragon, 

of Navarre and Sicily, 288, 

Brial, the, 67, 153 

Brianda, Dona, d'Agouth, 33, 238, 

de Luna, 198 

Bordonadores, 139, 246-7, 250-1 
"Borra, Mossen," 223, 277 

Dona Guillerma de, 109 

Cabrera, Don Bernardo de, 188-9, 


Calverley, Sir Hugh, 197, 241 
Caramiello, the, 68 
Chapine, 198-9 
Cobham, Eleanor, Duchess of 

Gloucester, 204 
Constanza, Dona, of Aragon, Queen, 

111-16, 118-25 

Princesses, 146, 163, 180-3, 188- 
190, 192, 241 

of Burgundy and Castile, 44-6, 57 

de Perellos, 202 
Coronations of 

Pedro IV, 83 

Doiia Constanza of Sicily, 115 

Pedro III, 119 

Fadrique of Sicily, 124 

Order of Ceremonial of Queens of 

Aragon, 126-36 
Dona Blanca of Anjou, 142 
Alfonso IV, 166-8 
Sibilia de Forcia, 200 
Martin the Humane, 244-50 
Maria de Luna, 251-4 
Fernando the Just, 266-73 
Leonor de Alburquerque, 273-8 




De Lara, Dona Isabel Nunez, 175 
Des-Escas, Amanieu, 157-8 
Dulce, Dona, of Provence, 32 


Eleanor, Princess, of England, 116 
Ele"onore of Anjou, 144 
Ele"onore of Aquitaine, 33 
Elvira, Dona, 30 

Infanta of Castile, 58-9 
Entenza, Gombau de, 160 

Sancho de, 160 

Dona Teresa de, 20, 160-5 

Dona Urraca de, 161 
" Entremeses," 234 
Ermengarda of Narbonne, 33 

Fadrique, King of Sicily, 144, 190 

of Aragon, Count de Luna, 281 

Falconry, 69-70, 227 

Fatima, 25 

Felicia, Dona, Queen of Aragon, 


Fernando the Just, 265-283 
Fisendia, 90 

Forcia, Dona Sibilia de, 196-208 
Furs, 39, 56 276 

Oarnacha, 67, 153 
Gelmirez, 48, 53, 55-6 
Gerona, 308, 313, 319-23 
Gisberga, Dona, 35-8 
Gurrea, Lope de, 209-10 
Miguel de, 172, 214 

Henry V (of England), King, 280-1 
Hinestrosa, Don Juan Fernandez de, 

Hueaca, 17, 19, 38 

Iglesias, 167 
Impla, of Jaca, 106 
romana, 106 

Inez of Poitiers, 62 

Interludes, 234, 295 

Isabel, Dona, Infantas, 164, 207 

Ixar, Doiia Margarita de, 289, 293 

Jaca, 17, 34-6 

Jaime, Don (Infantes), 87-8, 113-15, 

120, 124-5, 154, 168-9, 181, 183-4, 


(Kings) I, the Conqueror, of 
Aragon, 87, 90, 93-104, 107-9, 
111-13, 140 

II, 139, 141-7, 157, 160-2, 164, 

Jean, Due de Berry, see Berry 

Jeanne, see de Valois 

Jongleurs, 73-5, 91-2, 98, 177, 166-8, 

228, 230, 267 
Juan, Don, I, King of Aragon, 189, 

192, 194-6, 200-3, 205-6 

Don, II, Duke of Penafiel, King 
of Aragon and Navarre, 274, 279- 
80, 282, 287-8, 291, 306, 308-13, 
315, 317, 319-21, 323-5 

Juana, Dona, de Enriquez, 298-9, 

(Infantas), 146, 177, 180, 195, 
201-3, 210, 213, 219, 231, 279 

" Madama, de Francia," 209-10 

of Navarre, 177 

La Beltraneja, 300 
Justiciary, the, of Aragon, 21 

Lauria, Bella de, 112, 123-4 

Roger de, 112, 119, 123-4 
Lectoure, Chateau de, 210, 212 
Leonor, Dona (Princesses) : 

of Aragon, 104, 195 

of Castile, 33, 149 

of Naples, 125 

of Castile, 95-100 

of Aragon, 168-76, 187-96, 201 

of Alburquerque, 265-285 

de Escobar, 282 

Brianda de, 199-200 



Luna, Lope de, Count, 238 

Maria de, Queen of Aragon, 33, 
227, 238-55, 258-60 

Violante de, Countess of Niebla, 

Lusignan, Dona Maria de, Queen of 
Aragon, 147-55 


Manjar bianco, 224 
Manrique, Jorge de, 32 
March, Ausias, 298 
Margarita, Dona, de Prades, Queen 
of Aragon, 242, 247-8, 252, 261nt 

de Ixar, see Ixar 
Maria (Queens) : 

of Aragon, 177-82 

of Castile, 286-309 

de Luna, see Luna 

de Ventadorn, 33 

de Montpellier, of Aragon, 81-92 
Martin the Humane, Duke of Mont- 
blanch and King of Aragon, 195, 
197, 199-200, 203, 207, 212, 227, 
237, 239-63 

the Younger, King of Sicily, 216, 

Matha, see Armagnac 
Metge, Bernat, 207-8, 258-9 
Moncada, Dona Elisenda de, 155-7 

Dona Guilelmina de, 145 

Don Ot de, 155, 171 

Don Guillen de, 96-7 

Constanza de, 100 
Montausier, Tiborge de, 33 
Montpellier, Gormonde de, 33 
Morviedro, Revolt of, 184-5 
Mozarabic Ritual, 45 
Munoz, Ximena, 44-7, 58 
Music, 69, 227-30 

Musical instruments, 69, 74, 86, 229, 

Musicians, 224, 230 

Pagesos de temensa, 187, 298, 301, 

Palau El, 65 

"Partidas," The, 25 

Pedro I, King of Aragon, 43 

II, King of Aragon, 77, 81-3, 86-7, 
90-1, 93 

III, King of Aragon, 111-13, 116, 

IV, the Ceremonious, 126, 177-203, 

the Cruel, King of Castile, 175-6 
Petronilla, Queen of Aragon, 20, 22, 

62-3, 65-6, 70-1 
Poblet, 81, 181, 214, 240, 242, 263, 

271, 283, 324 
"Poleyns," 259 
Ponza, battle of, 285, 290 
Portillo, El, 247 
"Privilege, the General," 22 
"Privilege of Union," 22 
Procida, Jean de, 122-3, 125 


Ramiro I, King of Aragon, 17, 19, 

II, 20 

Raymond of Burgundy, Count of 

Galicia, 47-8 
Roig, Jaime, 32 


Sadhia, 24-5 

Sancha, Dona, of Aragon, 71-3, 75-9, 

Dona, de Carrillo, 170, 173-4 
San Juan de la Pefia, 34 
Santas Creus de las Sorores, 35 
Santas Creus, 146, 165 
Sedendarios, 106 

Sella de barda, 107 

Sijena, 177-9 

Slaves, 221-3 

Sobrarbe, 17-18 

Suera, 107 

Seo, La, 127, 166, 200, 244-5, 247-8, 

Sorores, Las Tres, 17 

Tinell, 223 

Titereroa (titiriteros), 222 



Torroella de Montgri, 221, 235 
Trastamare, Henry de, 175, 192-3 
Troubadours, 32-3, 63-4, 72-5, 78- 
82, 91-2 


Ulce"s, 49, 290 

Unicorn, horn of, 256 

Urgel, Countess of, Aurembiax, 98 

Dona Teresa de Entenza, 161 

Dona Isabel, 279 

Urraca of Castile and Aragon, 20, 

Fernandez, 47 

of Navarre, 27 

of Zamora, 46 

Vallbona, 108 

Valois, Jeanne de, 192 

Velilla, the Bell of, 290 

Viana, Carlos, Prince of, 298, 301, 


Vidal, Ramon, 91 
Vidaura, Teresa Gil de, 107-9 
Vilaregut, Don Bernardo de, 235 

Vilaregut, Dona [Carroza de, 231 

Don Juan de, 262-4 
Villa Beltran, 144 

Villena, Don Enrique de, 272-3 
Violante, Dona, Queen of Aragor 
98-100, 108, 113 

Queen of Castile, 101, 104, 114 

Infanta of Aragon, 178-9 

of Greece, 147, 153, 170 

of Naples, 248, 252-3 

of Sicily, 191-2 


Witchcraft, 204-6 

Zaida, Moorish Queen of Castile, 44, 

Zamarra, the, 39 

Zaragoza, 17, 19, 22, 43, 105, 126-7, 
136, 147, 163, 165-6, 170, 173-4, 
178, 186, 188-9, 200, 209, 214, 
244, 246, 248, 251, 253, 266-8, 
274, 279, 297, 305, 312, 318, 


Telephone 31 ESSEX STREET 


Telegraphic Address January, 1913 




The Romance of an Elderly Poet : A Hitherto 

Unknown Chapter in the Life of George Crabbe. By A. M. 

BROADLEY AND WALTER JFRROLD. Demy 8vo, cloth gilt, with 

many illustrations, ros. 6d. net. 

This volume, based upon a series of letters extending over the ten 
years from 1815-1825, which the poet wrote to Elizabeth Charter, one 
of the " six female friends, unknown to each other, but all dear, very 
dear to me," reveals Crabbe in something of a new light. The period 
is that during which he was Vicar of Trowbridge, whither he removed 
after his wife's death, and the book shows the elderly writer ever 
toying with the thought of remarriage. The widower was for a time 
actually engaged to one lady, and he proposed marriage, also, to Miss 
Elizabeth Charter, the central "female friend " of this volume, which 
includes details concerning the social life of Bath and the neighbour- 
hood during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, 

Polly Peachum. The Story of Lavinia Fenton, Duchess 
of Bolton, and " The Beggar's Opera." By CHARLES E. PEARCE. 
Author of "The Amazing Duchess," "The Beloved Princess," 
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The Queens of Aragon : Their Lives and Times, By 
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This work deals with the lives of the twenty-six ladies who were 
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Through the book move many unfamiliar figures of Royal ladies, 
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Later, when the Cross had triumphed, we see the Queens of Aragon, 
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in the cloister and the convent. 

The characters of these queens were as diverse as their fortunes. 
In this volume, therefore, we read in turn of gay brilliance and 
shadowed unhappiness, of success and dismal defeat. 

Napoleon in Exile at Elba, 1814-1815 By NORWOOD 

YOUNG, Author of "The Growth of Napoleon," "The Story of 
Rome," etc., with a chapter on the Iconography of Napoleon at 
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This work will be a record of the residence of Napoleon in the Isle 
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March, 1914, the centenary of the entry of the Allies into Paris. 

Napoleon in Exile at St. Helena 1815-1821. By 

NORWOOD YOUNG, with a chapter on the Iconography of Napoleon 
at St. Helena, by A. M. BROADLEY, Author of " Napoleon in Cari- 
cature," " The Royal Miracle," etc. Two vols., demy 8vo, cloth 
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This work will give the history of the exile of Napoleon on the island 
of St. Helena after the defeat at Waterloo which terminated the 
hundred days' revival of his power on June i8th, 1815 from the i6thof 
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writers are authorities upon the subject of which they treat, and the 
whole of Mr. Broadley's unrivalled collection of Napoleonic MSS. and 
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Norwood Young for the purposes of this work. Mr. Young has also had 
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England and abroad. No pains will be spared to make these two 
works the final word on a supremely interesting subject. 

Maximilian the Dreamer, Holy Roman Emperor, 

1459-1519. By CHRISTOPHER HAFE. Author of " The Romance of 
a Medici Warrior," etc. Demy 8vo, cloth gilt, fully illustrated, 
I2S. 6d. net. 

The Emperor Maximilian lived in that important epoch in European 
history which ushered in the Renaissance. He was himself a scholar 
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and at the same time he earned the title of "a gallant knight and 
gentleman." He fought in Flanders, in Switzerland, and in France, 
and could not resist the fatal lure of conquest in Italy which led him 
astray as it had done the Kings of France. 

Essentially Maximilian was a dreamer of dreams. Full of 
religious enthusiasm, he vainly aspired to become Pope as well as 
Emperor, and so rule the world in peace and righteousness. In the 
last years of his life he sought a tangible expression of the visions of 
his youth in the splendid sepulchre at Innsbruck, where stand as 
silent watchers round his tomb that marvellous company of mythical 
heroes whom he had imagined as his ancestry. But his most touching 
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passing of centuries still remember him in Folk-song and tradition as 
" the well-beloved Kaiser Max." 

This book, while centring, of course, round the life of its hero, gives 
a vivid picture of European history and life in the fifteenth century. 

A Vagabond Courtier (Baron von Polm'tz). By EDITH 
E. CUTHELL, F.R.HisT.S. Author of " Wilhelmina, Margravine 
of Baireuth," " An Imperial Victim," etc. Two vols., demy 8vo, 
cloth gilt, with photogravure and other illustrations, 245. net. 

In " The Virginians" Thackeray gives a misleading and somewhat 
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As a boy Baron Charles Louis von Polnitz, of whom Mrs. Cuthell 
writes this most interesting biography, fought at the battle of 
Oudenarde, went on an embassy to Charles XVI., and as a page saw 
the crowning of Prussia's fiist king. In later life he was dragged into 
a whirlpool of dissipation in the set of the Regent of Orleans at 1 aris, 
and was soon rendered penniless. In a state of constant poveity he 
visited almost every court in Europe, finding himself welcomed for his 
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Mrs. Cuthell tells of his travels in England (where he was a 
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which, written in delightful and unimpeachable French, delighted 
Europe and ran into many editions. 

Mrs. Cuthell's book will be especially welcome since the Baron, 
although a friend of the Emperor Frederick the Great, his father, and 
his sister, Margravine of Baireuth, and the Regent d' Orleans, has 
hitherto escaped biography. 

The Lords of the Devil's Paradise. By G. SIDNEY 

PATERNOSTER. Author of " The Motor Pirate," " Gutter 
Tragedies," " The Hand of the Spoiler," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth 
gilt, illustrated, 55. net. 

It is now a little more than two years since the terrible truths of the 
Putumayo Atrocities were first brought to light by a young American 
engineer, who walked into the Offices of " Truth " and, demanding an 
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Amazonian forests, thus originating the public outcry against the 
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of the Devil's Paradise " has been for twenty-two years connected with 
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detailed facts and to apportion the blame. In this book he tells the 
story in its entirety, putting the blame on the right shoulders, and 
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The bare skeleton of the story has been circulated in the newspapers, 
but Mr. Paternoster is not content with the skeleton. He has collected 
the stories of the native sufferers themselves, and the correspondence 
between the exposers and those who tried to hide the evidence of their 
crimes. The book is one of striking interest, and several illustrations 
from photographs emphasize its truth. 

Louis XL and Charles the Bold. By LIEUT.-COL. 

ANDREW C. P. HAGGARD, D.S.O. Author of " The France of Joan 
of Arc," " Two Worlds," " The Komance of Bayard," etc. Demy 
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Colonel Haggard needs no introduction, and the story of the cruel 
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style, makes fascinating reading. He relates, graphically and vigor- 
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insurrections against his father in which he took part, the revolt of 
the great vassals, his capture by Charles the Bold, and his subsequent 
release. The book abounds with brilliant pictures of great personages 
of past days, and gives a vivid and impressive sketch of France in the 
fifteenth century. Colonel Haggard has long been reckoned an 
authority on French history, yet he has never produced a book which 
could be described as the mere overflowings of scholarship. He 
weaves romance into history and turns history into romance until the 
dulness of bare facts, which, in some writers' work is uppermost, gives 
place to a bright and essentially picturesque historical narrative. 

The Life of James Hinton. By MRS. HAVELOCK 

ELLIS. Author of " Three Modem Seers," " My Cornish Neigh- 
bours," " Kit's Woman," etc. Demy 8vo, illustrated, IDS. 6d. net. 
Mrs. Havelock Ellis is preparing this biography under very favour- 
able circumstances. Access to private papers, and the assistance of 
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to those who preceded her. The book aims at presenting the man 
as his friends knew him, a noble, serious student struggling to bring 
truth into the open. 

Princess and Queen of England : The Life of Mary 

II. By MARY F. SANDARS. Author of "Balzac, his Life and 
Writings," etc. Demy 8vo, illustrated, i6s. net. 

Miss Mary F. Sandars, whose sound biographical and critical work 
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time upon this memoir. The usual authority for the life of Queen 
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Queens of England," but since then fresh information has come to 
light, and Miss Sandars is able to add to the available material 
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precious memoirs, which in times of danger she carried about her 

Earl Bathurst has in his possession a large quantity of Mary's 
letters, which he has allowed Miss Sandars to use, and the Duke of 
Portland's papers at Welbeck have also been placed at her disposal. 
The Earl cf Orkney has kindly allowed the publishers to reproduce 
two portraits from his collection which have never previously been 
published. This book, therefore, ought to prove a highly important 
historical monograph, of something like permanent interest. 

Famous Artists and Their Models. By DR. ANGELO 

S. RAPPOPORT. Author of " Love Affairs of the Vatican," etc. 
Demy 8vo, cloth gilt, with 32 full-page illustrations, i6s, net. 

Dr. Rappoport has made a special study of the history and psychology 
of the model, and the results are given in the present work, of which 
the purpose is to trace the effect of that perfect sympathy between the 
artist and the model which has produced the great masterpieces of 
art. It is shown that in classical times, when the bare forms of men 
and women were publicly exposed in games and on other occasions, 
as well as in the essentially artistic epochs in the history of Italy, 
when the cause of art over-ruled all other ideals, public feeling did not 
suffer from the prudish disgust now associated with the idea of a 
model standing nude before an artist. 

In this book, from a sufficiently broad standpoint, are shown the 
relations of artists and their models, very numerous examples being 
taken from the lives of famous painters. The stories chosen range 
from classical times to the days of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and it is 
shown that although these connections have sometimes ended illicitly, 
others have been only concerned with the welfare of Art. For instance 
the ladies of ancient Rhodes, Corinth and Sicyon were proud to help 
Apelles and Zeuxis in their work. In the days of the Renaissance 
Roman grandees sat for Raphael, and the models who sat for Titian 
were not poor professionals working to earn their living, but great 
ladies of ducal rank and even of royal blood. Dr. Rappoport is at 
pains to show the supreme importance in the production of master- 
pieces of the artist's relation to his model. 

Every Man's El-doradoBritish South America. 

By EDITH A. BROWNE. Author of " Peeps at Greece and Spain," 
etc. Demy 8vo, cloth gilt, fully illustrated, I2S. 6d. net. 

In these days when most parts of the world are given over to the 
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as will enable the holiday-maker to indulge his inclination to explore 
unbeaten tracts without discomfort, and also enable him to enjoy to 
the full the fascination of new and unique surroundings. 

Such a country is British Guiana, and the author who depicts this 
British Colony in South America under the happy title of " Every 
Man's El-dorado," writes entirely from first-hand knowledge and 
observation, whilst her standpoint of discrimination is that of a 
traveller well acquainted with many parts of the world. 

Miss Browne discusses the social and commercial problems of 
the land, which has been called "The Magnificent Province," she 
relates its history, gives hints to intending tourists, and in her charming 
style gives picturesque descriptions of the country itself. 

Western Men with Eastern Morals. By W. N. 

WILLIS. With a preface by R. A. BENNETT, Editor of Truth. 

down 8vo, cloth gilt, 55. net. 

The relationship between the white man and the coloured woman 
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The White Slaves of London. By W. N. WILLIS. 

Part Author of "The White Slave Market," and Author of 
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The White Slave Market. By Mrs. ARCHIBALD 

MACKIRDV (Olive Christian Malvery), Author of " The Soul 
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California. An Englishman's Impressions of the 
Golden State. By A. T. JOHNSON. Demy 8vo, cloth gilt, fully 
illustrated, IDS. 6d. net. 

On his title page Mr. Johnson quotes a couplet from Oliver 
Goldsmith : 

" 111 fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, 
Where wealth accumulates and men decay." 

This denotes, in some measure, the ruling spirit of California. The 
dollar is swaying the thoughts of the multitude, and in the rough 
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The key note of the Calif ornian's character is an extreme egotism, 
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Occasionally he overcomes his dislike of strangers and is thoroughly 
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interesting book the author does not refrain from criticism. He 
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Instead of climbing her lofty mountains, he traversed California 
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Half-Hours in the Levant. By ARCHIBALD B. SPENS. 

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The Human Machine. An Inquiry into the Diversity 

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The Physiology of Faith and Fear; or, the Mind 

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The Insanity of Genius: and the General Inequality 

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Author of " The Human Machine," etc. Sixth and new edition, 

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Ever since the time of Aristotle, 2000 years ago, some subtle 
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In this book, Mr. J. F. Nisbet discusses the subject in the light 
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Reflections of a Sporting Artist. By FINCH MASON 

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August Strindberg : The Spirit of Revolt. Studies 
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Already there is in England a growing interest in the work and 
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Crown 8vo, cloth gilt, 35. 6d. net. 

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A Tour through South America. By A. S. FORREST. 

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Mr. A. S. Forrest, the well-known artist-author, has lately travelled 
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Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition. By 

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The study of Friar Thomas de Torquemada is, however, essentially 
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Mr. Sabatini deals without bias and in a purely historical spirit with 
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a matter of cold abstracts. He pursues his usual methods of keeping 
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with which he deals and the personalities of the historical personages 
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attention to detail he achieves an engrossing and dramatic piece of 
work, in the course of which he lays before us a series of poignantly 
vivid pictures of the Inquisition at work. 


Gaiety and George Grossmith. Random Reflections 

of an Apostle of Pleasure. By STANLEY NAYLOR. Crown 8vo, 

cloth gilt, fully illustrated, 53. net. 

Mr. George Grossmith lives in the imagination of the multitude as 
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of all possible stages. He knows his London, and also his Paris and 
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The Suffrage Annual and Women's Who's 

Who. Edited by A. J. R. Vol. I. 1913. Crown 8 vo, cloth, 6s. net. 
An indispensable reference book on all suffrage matters. It will 
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Modern Politics. Large crown 8vo, cloth gilt, 546 

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Court Journal. 

The ABC Guide to Mythology. By HELEN A. 

CLARKE. With several illustrations, 53. net. 

The author of this book has written and lectured on mythology 
for many years, and is, from study and research, well qualified to 
produce a work to supply the general need. She traces the rise and 
development of the various native myths through their Greek, Norse 
and Oriental phases, so that the book is an authoritative guide to the 
subject, and at the same time thoroughly interesting and entertaining. 

The ABC Guide to Music. By D. GREGORY MASON. 

With twelve illustrations, 53. net. 

In this work Mr. Mason discusses the theory of music in a simple 
and entertaining manner, and then treats in turn pianoforte, orchestral 
and vocal music, dealing with the master musicians and their work 
with sure insight and significant analysis. He has avoided technical 
expressions as far as possible, and his book may be recommended not 
only to young readers, but also to adult lovers of music wishing to 
increase their knowledge of musical art. 

The ABC Guide to Pictures. By CHARLES H. CAF- 

FIN. Author of " How to Study Pictures." Fully illustrated, 53. net. 
Mr. Caffin is a well-known author of books on art. In this book, 
with the object not so much to tell the reader what pictures to admire 
as to suggest the principles which will enable him to judge for himself 
what is most worthy of admiration, Mr. Caffin analyses the best 
qualities of art from well-known examples, and makes his point with 
the clearness and precision of a true critic. 

The ABC Guide to American History. By 

H. W. ELSON. With sixteen illustrations, 55. net. 
In a style that is at once picturesque and crisp, Mr. Elson tells the 
story of the growth of the modern America out of the land discovered 
by Columbus in 1492. The book, which is full of fascinating romance 
and incident, contains also, in its account of the rise of the United 
States, a considerable amount of thoughtful writing on the development 
of nations and the art of government. 


The A B C of Collecting Old Continental 

Pottery. By J. F. BLACKER. Author of " Nineteenth Century 
English Ceramic Art," etc. Illustrated with about 100 line and 
50 half-tone illustrations, 53. net. 

In this new volume Mr. J. F. Blacker provides information and illus- 
trations of wares never previously presented in an inexpensive form to 
the great army of collectors. Persian, Syrian, Anatolian and Rhodian 
wares, with the lustred Hispano Moresque and Siculo Moresque pottery 
take their place side by side with the Majolica of Italy, the Faience of 
France, the Delft of Holland, and the Stoneware of Germany. 

The ABC about Collecting (Second Edition). By 

SIR JAMES YOXALL, M.P. The subjects include, among others, 
China, Clocks, Prints, Books, Pictures, Furniture and Violins. 
With numerous illustrations, 53. net. 
" A beginner cannot well have a better guide." Outlook. 

The A B C of Collecting Old English Pottery. 

By J. F. BLACKER. With about 400 line and 32 pages of half-tone 

illustrations, 53. net. 

" Practically every known variety of old English pottery is dealt with, and 
facsimiles of the various marks, and the prices realised by good examples at auction 
are given." Observer. " Mr. Blacker speaks with authority, and his pages are full of 
knowledge." Bookman. 

The A B C of Collecting Old English China. 

By J. F. BLACKER. With numerous line and 64 pages of half-tone 
illustrations, printed on art paper, 53. net. 
" To the beginner there could be no surer guide." Pall Mall Gazette. 

The ABC Dictionary of Modern Prose Quota- 
tions. A Classified Dictionary of Modern Thought in the form 
of Aphorisms and Epigrams in English from Blake to Bergson. 
By HOLBROOK JACKSON, Author of "Great English Novelists," 
etc., 53. net. 

A fascinating and valuable collection of the wit and wisdom of one 
of the most brilliant centuries of the world's history. It is at once an 
anthology and a useful reference volume, and Mr. Holbrook Jackson 
may be relied upon as an editor of knowledge and discretion. 

More About Collecting. By SIR JAMES YOXALL, M.P. 

Author of " The A.B.C. about Collecting," etc. Large crown 8vo, 

cloth gilt, with about 100 illustrations, 55. net. 

This work is written in an interesting and entertaining style, and 
so arranged that readers who have little knowledge or experience of 
the hobby which they wish to take up, may find exactly the information 
they require put plainly and tersely. 

Nineteenth Century English Ceramic Art. By 

J. F. BLACKER. With coloured frontispiece and over 1,200 
examples. Illustrated in half-tone and line. 

" One of the cheapest art manuals that has appeared in the present generation. 
Invaluable to all lovers of historic ware." Daily Telegraph. 



A Grey Life: A Romance of Bath. "RITA" 

Author of " Peg the Rake/' " My Lord Conceit," " Countess 
Daphne," " Grim Justice," etc. 

" Rita" has chosen Bath as the setting for her new novel. She has disdained the 
" powder and patches" period, and given her characters the more modern interests 
of Bath's transition stage in the seventies and eighties. Her book deals with the 
struggles of an impoverished Irish family of three sisters, living at Bath, to whom 
comes an orphaned niece with the romantic name of Rosaleen Le Suir. "Rita" 
claims that an Irish adventurer, named Theophrastus O'Shaughnessy, who plays 
an important part in this book, is the male prototype of her own immortal " Peg 
the Rake." 

The Destiny of Claude. MAY WYNNE 

Author of "Henri of Navarre," "The Red Fleur-de-Lys," 
"Honour's Fetters," etc. 

To escape a convent life, Claude de Marbeille joins her friend Margot deXadrennes 
in Touraine. Jacques, Cointe de Ladrennes, a hunchback, falls in love with her, and 
when the two girls go to Paris to enter the suite of the fifteen year old Mary Queen of 
Scots, he follows and takes service with the Duke of Guise. There follow many 
romantic and exciting adventures concerning the perilous childhood of Mary Queen of 
Scots, into which the characters of the story are brought by acts of treachery and 
the work of spies. The hero, a young officer of the Scottish Guards, is imprisoned 
and threatened with poison, and much of the story relates his ardent search after his 
sweetheart, who has been betrayed into captivity by the jealousy of a friend. This 
is a thoroughly good story. 

The King's Master, OLIVE LETHBRIDGE and JOHN 

A novel dealing with the troublous times of Henry VIII., in which the political 
situation, Court intrigues and religious discussions of the period are treated in a 
masterly manner. A strong love element is introduced, and the characters of Anne 
Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell are presented in an entirely new light, while 
plot and counter-plot, hair-breadth escapes, love, hate, revenge, and triumph, all go 
to form the theme. 

The Celebrity's Daughter. VIOLET HUNT 

Author of " The Doll," " White Rose of Weary Leaf," etc. 

"The Celebrity's Daughter," which, like Miss Violet Hunt's other novels, is 
founded on a much-entangled plot, only fully unravelled in the last chapter, is the 
autobiography of the daughter of a celebrity who has fallen on evil days. The book 
is told in the author's own inimitable style, with the humour, the smart dialogue, and 
the tingling life of her earlier novels. 


Stanley Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued. 

WARDLE). Author of " The Artistic Temperament," " The Lord 
of Latimer Street," " Margery Pigeon," " Where Truth Lies," etc. 

Those readers of Mr. Oliver Madox Hueffer's novels who remember his " Marjorie 
Pigeon " and "The Artistic Temperament," will be charmed by this new novel from 
the same pen. It is the love story of a young Englishman of good family who goes to 
the United States in search of a fortune. The story is founded on an ingenious plot 
and set forth in an original manner. 

Cheerful Craft. R. ANDOM 

Author of "We Three and Troddles," "Neighbours of Mine," 
etc. With 60 illustrations by Louis Gunnis. 

There is nothing sombre or introspective about " Cheerful Craft," and those who 
agree with Mr. Balfour's view of the need of lighter and brighter books will find here 
something to please them, since broad humour and rollicking adventure characterise 
the story. A city clerk rises from obscurity to a position ot wealth and dignity, 
and carries us with him all the way, condoning his rascality for the sake of his 
ready humour and cheery optimism. After all he is a merry rogue, and he works 
no great harm to anyone, and much good to himself, and incidentally to most of those 
with whom he comes in contact. This amusing story does credit to the writer's 
ingenuity without putting too great a strain OD the credulity of the reader. 

The Three Destinies. J. A. T. LLOYD 

Author of " The Lady of Kensington Gardens," " A Great Russian 
Realist," etc. 

This story relates the adventures of three young girls and a boy of eighteen, who 
meet by chance before the statue of " The Three Fates " in the British Museum, and 
there attract the attention of an old professor who determines to bring them together 
again, and experiment with their young lives with the curiosity of a chemist experi- 
menting with chsmicals. The scene shifti in turn to Ireland, to Paris, Brittany, and 
Vienna, and the hero is always under the spell of that first chance meeting in 
front of the statue. One person after the other plays with his life, and again and 
again he and the others report themselves on New Year's Day to the old professor, 
who reads half mockingly the jumble of lives that he himself has produced, until in 
the end the hero realises that these young girls have become to him in turn modern 
interpreters of the three ancient Destinies. 

Columbine at the Fair. KATE HORN 

Author of " Susan and The Duke," " The White Owl," etc. 

Miss Kate Horn has here taken up an entirely new line. Leaving the style which 
made "Edward and I and Mrs. Honeybun " so successful, she here gives a critical 
study of a girl whose soul lies dormant until the touch of love and self sacrifice 
awakes it by the hand of a little child. Much success is expected for her new story. 

The Unworthy Pact. DOROTHEA GERARD 

Author of " The City of Enticement." " Exotic Martha," etc. 

The story of a young man, who, having inherited an estate from an uncle believed 
to have died intestate, finds a will which puts as a condition of his inheritance the 
renunciation of his faith. He hesitates to do this and hides the will for some years, 
suffering all the while from the knowledge of his misdeed. Tlie events resultant 
from this secret are related with a true insight and with a sense of drama and of 

Stanley Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued. 
The Honour of the Clintons. ARCHIBALD MARSHALL 

Author of " Exton Manor," " The Mystery of Redmarsh Farm," 
"The Eldest Son," etc. 

The Clintons of Kencote will be very f am liar to the many readers of Mr. 
Marshall's well-known novels, "The Squire's Daughter," and "The Eldest Son." 
The central idea of "The Honour ot the Clintons'" is to show the Squire 
confronted with a serious problem, in which neither wealth nor position can help 
him. He is in danger of falling into the deepest disgrace, and has nothing but his 
sense of honour on which to rely. How he comes through the trial forms the main 
interest of the story; but it is also concerned with the love affairs of the Clinton 
twins, Joan and Nancy, now grown up into beautiful young women. 

The Eyes of Alicia. CHARLES E. PEARCE 

Author of "The Amazing Duchess," "The Beloved Pri cess," 
"Polly Peachum," "Love Besieged," " Red Revenge," "A Star 
of the East,'' etc. 

"The Eyes of Alicia" is the story of an impulsive, adventurous, handsome girl, 
brought up amid narrow surroundings and yearning for greater freedom. With the 
coming of womanhood she realizes her power of personal attraction and takes 
advantage of it in following her wayward impulses. The result is a catastrophe 
which shadows her whole life. The story is one of modern life in London, and while 
the scenes and characters have a vivid actuality, the mystery of Destiny hovers 
continually in the background. 


Author of " Bess of Hardendale," " Moll o' the Toll-Bar," etc. 

This is a very readable novel in the author's best manner. Rachael Despenser, a 
successful artist, spends a summer holiday in a Westmoreland village, living at an 
old farm-house, and making friends with the villagers. Grimstone, a local baronet, 
is grabbing the land to make a deer run, and Rachael through championing the 
cause of a farmer comes into collision with him, although adored by his delicate 
little son. Right-of-way troubles ensue, and violence disturbs the peace. Grimstone's 
elder son and heir returns from Canada, where he has imbibed Radical notions. He 
sympathises with the villagers, and is attracted towards Rachael, whom he eventu- 
ally marries. The baronet is determined to oust the farmer whom Rachael had 
championed, when the tragic death of his younger son leads him to relinquish the 
management of the estate to his heir. 


Author of "The Free Marriage," "The Plunder Pit," " Hate of 
Evil," etc. 

Stephen Gaunt, an English sculptor famous in Italy, is the father of a son born out 
of wedlock of whom he has never heard. In his youth, a light attachment broken in 
a causeless fit of jealousy drove him abroad, but when the story opens he comes home 
to execute a commission, and meets his son without knowing him. In doing so, he 
encounters a childless couple, who have passed the boy off as their own since infancy, 
when his mother died. They are an elder half-brother, who has always hated 
Stephen, and his sensitive, tender and simple wife, who loves the boy with all her 
heart, fears to lose him, and yet is tormented by her secret. A romantic friend- 
ship springs up between son and father; and the chain of accidents and proofs by 
which he learns the truth, his struggle for control of the boy, and the effect of these 
events on the boy and his foster mother make a fascinating story. 


Stanley Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued. 
The Strolling Saint. RAFAEL SABATINI 

Author of " Bardelys, the Magnificent," "The Lion's Skin," etc. 

Mr. Sahatini lays before his readers in " The Strolling Saint " a startling and 
poignant human document of the Italian Renaissance. It is the autobiographical 
memoir of Augustine, Lord of Mondolfo, a man pre-natally vowed to the cloister by 
his over-devout mother. With merciless self-analysis are revealed Augustine's 
distaste for the life to which he was foredoomed, and his early efforts to break away 
from the path along which he is being forced. As a powerful historical novel " The 
Strolling Saint" deserves to take an important place, whilst for swiftness of action 
and intensity of romantic interest it stands alone. 


Author of " Thus Saith Mrs. Grundy," etc. 

Miss Annesley Kenealy's new novel, the first volume of the new " Votes for 
Women" Novel Series, deals with the feminine side of the great unrest of our time 
and endeavours to answer the question, " What do Women Want ?" It is a charm- 
ing love story, dealing mainly with two women, a man, and a mannikin. It present, 
femininism from an entirely fresh standpoint, and in a series of living pictures 
shows how the games of life and matrimony are played under rules which put all 
the best cards of the pack into men's hands. The heroine is an emotional Irish girl, 
with the reckless romance of the Celt and the chivalry of a woman, who remains 
sweet through very bitter experiences. The book is full of humour. 

The Romance of Bayard. LIEUT. -COL. ANDREW 

C. P. HAGGARD, D.S.O. Author of the "The France of Joan of 
Arc," " Louis XI, and' Charles the Bold," etc. 

Colonel Haggard is never more happy than when he writes of days and people 
famous in history, and here, with much success, he has cleverly woven a romantic 
novel out of an equally romantic historical chronicle. He gives us memories of the 
French Court under Francis I., and of the gallant part played by the great Bayard; 
stories of our own Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn ; gay pictures of the meeting 
of the two monarchs and of the jousting and feasting on the Field of the Cloth of 
Gold ; and stirring chapters on the war in which Bayard, faithful lover and true 
knight, met a soldier's death. 

The Career of Beauty Darling. DOLF WYLLARDE 

Author of " The Riding Master," " The Unofficial Honeymoon," 

etc. (yth edition). 

This novel, at present in its eighth edition, is a story of the musical comedy stage, 
which endeavours to set forth without prejudice the vices and virtues of the life ; 
and, in the account of the heroine's adventures, how she ran away from home at 
fourteen, went on the stage in a children's chorus, and found herself henceforth the 
sport and spoil of the men around her, Miss Wyllarde has made plain statements 
and has not shrunk from the realism of life. It is "an absorbing btory," and 
according to The Court Journal " should be put in the hands of all parents who have 
daughters with any hankering after a stage career." 

Francesca. CECIL ADAIR 

Author of " The Qualities of Mercy," " Cantacute Towers," etc. 

Miss Adair has excelled herself in Francesca, which is a delightful story full of 
beautiful thoughts and idyllic touches This author has been said to resemble the 
late Rosa N. Carey in possessing all the qualities which make for popularity, and 
the ability to arrest and maintain the reader s interest from the first page to the last 


Stanfey Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued. 

Life's Last Gift. Louis DE ROBERT 

With a preface by Dr. F. A. HEDGCOCK (The book for which 
a committee of Parisian ladies awarded the prize of 200 for the 
best French novel published in IQII.) 

This " poignant and convincing narrative" tells of a young ambitious man who 
is overwhelmed by the dread of impending disaster. He struggles to free himself, 
but only becomes more deeply entrapped. In his misery and dread there comes as 
" Life's Last Gift" a romantic passion which cannot be requited but estranges him 
for a time from those most dear, and then leaves him to turn with a renewal of faith 
to the arms which he has shunned. 

The beauty of this book lies in its absolute sincerity and truth. It speaks to all 
men and women who realise how great and terrible a possession is life. 

Brave Brigands. MAY WYNNE 

Author of "The Red Fleur-de-Lys," "The Destiny of Claude," 
etc., etc. 

At the time of the French Revolution, during the siege of Carpentras by the " Brave 
Biigands" the soldiers of an Irishman named Patri an attack is frustrated by the 
cleverness and courage of a young girl, who, in her adventures, mysteriously dis- 
appears. In quick succession there follow events concerning the plots and counter 
plots of aristocrats, papalists and revolutionaries, and amid adventures of love 
and war the story leads up to the famous " Glacier Massacres." It is thrilling and 
romantic from beginning to end. 

Tainted Gold. H. NOEL WILLIAMS 

Author of " A Ten Pound Penalty," " Five Fair Sisters," etc. 

Gerald Carthew, a young London Barrister, whose career has hitherto been quite 
uneventful, suddenly finds himselt involved in circumstances which leave no room 
for doubt that a dastardly conspiracy has been formed against his lite. For some 
time, however, all attempts to discover the instigators or their motive are unsuc- 
cessful ; and it is not until Carthew' s greatest friend has fallen a victim in his stead, 
and he himself has been nearly lured to destruction by a beautiful American girl who 
has been made the innocent decoy of the conspirators, that the truth is revealed. 
The story, the action of which is laid in England, New York and at the Riviera, 
contains some thrilling moments and a most unexpected denouement. 

The Lost Destiny. G. VILLIERS STUART 

" The Lost Destiny" is a novel showing the working of the 'unseen hand,' and 
telling the story of a man who shirked his destiny and was forced to watch the 
career of another who rose to heights of national fame, while he himself drifted 
like chaff before the wind. It is a striking novel, full of incident, and illustrating 
the relationship of life and destiny. 

His Magnificence. A. J. ANDERSON 

Author of " The Romance of Fra Filippo Lippi," " The Romance 
of Sandro Botticelli," etc. 

In this fascinating volume, Mr. A. J. Anderson gives a picture of the extraordinary 
personality of Lorenzo de Medici (Lorenzo the Magnificent) amid a strong setting of 
the love, fighting, plotting, assassinations, religion and paganism of the Italian 


Stanley Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued, 

The Curse of the Nile. DOUGLAS SLADEN 

Author of <'The Unholy Estate," "The Tragedy of the 
Pyramids," etc. 

A novel dealing with the city of Khartum and the Egyptian Desert. Mr. Sladen 
is at his best when he is describing exciting scenes, and the book is full of them ; 
but, like his other novels, it is also full of romance. It tells the story of a beautiful 
white woman who, being captured at the fall of Khartum, has to enter the harem 
of Wad-el-Nejumi, the bravest of all the generals of the Mahdi. When she is rescued 
on the fatal field of Toski, the question arises, Can the hero, an Englishman, marry 
her ? Great figures stand forth in Mr. Sladen' s pages above all, the heroic Gordon 
in his last moments at Khartum. 

The Memoirs of Mimosa. Edited by ANNE ELLIOT 

The intimate and unflinching confession of a brilliant, erotic, and undisciplined 
woman, who resolves " to live every moment of her life," and succeeds in so doing 
at the cost of much suffering to herself and others. Her mixture of worldliness, 
sentiment, fancy, passion, and extraordinary joie tie vivre make her a fascinating 
study of a type somewhat rare. At her death she bequeathed these Memoirs to the 
woman friend who edits them and presents them to the xvorld. We get the woman's 
point of view in all matters poetry, politics, sport, music, the stage, and, domin- 
ating all, the great problems of sex. 

Dagobert's Children. L; J. BEESTON 

The interest of this novel is centred in a little band of franc-tireurs who, under the 
leadership of Count Raout Dagobert, harass the flanks of the German army corps 
in the Franco-German War. That Dagobert and his "children " are veritable fire- 
eaters is soon shown by the surprise and slaughter of a small but venturesome 
company of Prussians. The account of the subsequent doings of these irregulars i 
one of sustained excitement, and we follow the adventures of Mr. Beeston's hero 
with the more interest since the author has been at pains to give him personality. 
There are some vivid descriptions in the novel, which is well written and spirited. 

The Redeemer. RENE BAZIN 

Author of " The Children of Alsace," " The Nun," " Redemption," 

This is a moving and profoundly powerful romance of village life in the Loire 
country. It is the love story of a beautiful young French school teacher and a 
worker in the neighbouring slate quarries, who are for a time separated by the 
man's previous inclination towards a woman living away from her husband. 
The development of the heroine, strongly held in check by her moral feelings, and 
the attitude of the hero to the woman to whom he is already united, are told with 
considerable insight, power and charm. 

Her Majesty the Flapper. A. E. JAMES 

With a picture wrapper of " Her Majesty " in colours. 

A diverting chronicle of the prankish doings of a " Flapper," pretty and fifteen, as 
recorded partly by herselt and partly by her grown-up cousin Bobbie, whose life she 
makes quite a series of excitements and surprises. The story ends with the coming 
out of the Flapper, when the final victimisation of Bobbie takes the form of an 
engagement. " It is," says the Sunday Times, " one of the most amusing books that 
has appeared for a long time," and its pages are full of bright and sparkling dialogue, 
which make it " one of the most delightful books imaginable." 


Stanley Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued. 
The Fruits of Indiscretion. SIR WILLIAM MAGNAY 

Author of " The Long Hand," " Paul Burden," etc. 

A story of murder and mystery in which the interest is well sustained and the 
characters are convincing. On the eve of a country house wedding, the best man is 
killed on the hunting field. Captain Routham is asked to take his place, but 
suddenly disappears and his body is found on the railway track. With the help of 
Rolt, a famous detective, the mystery is gradually cleared up, and is brought at last 
to a startling denouement. 

The Return of Pierre. DONAL HAMILTON HAINES 

With a frontispiece from a painting by Edouard Detaille. 

Against the vivid background of the Franco-German War, there shines out, in this 
novel, the very human story ot Pierre ,Lantte, a French country lad. Other 
prominent figures in the story are the woman Pierre loves, her father a fine old 
Colonel of Dragoons and a German spy, not wiihout attractive qualities, whose 
fate becomes entangled with theirs. The book abounds in striking situations, 
including the discovery and escape of the spy, the departure of the Dragoons for 
the war, the remorse of a French General who feels personally responsible for 
the men he has lost, a night in a hospital-tent, the last nicker of the defence of 
Paris, and the entry of the German troops. It is a remarkable book. 

A Babe in Bohemia. FRANK DAN BY 

Author of ' The Heart of a Child," " Dr. Phillips," etc., etc. 
(nth edition). 

Frank Danby, to gain information for this novel, joined the Salvation Army, 
went through their training home and Refuge at Clapton, and finally became attached 
to the depot of the so-called " Gutter, Slum and Garret Brigade," from which 
the work among the very poorest is carried out. This full-length novel, having been 
out of print, has now been practically re-written by the author, and although the 
thread of the story remains, every page has been extensively revised, and it will be 
found to be as good as anything recently done by this popular writer. 


Author of " A Child of Chance," etc. Translated from the French 
by Elsie F. Buckley. 

This is a powerful novel of the life and times of Caesare Borgia, in which history 
and romance are mingled with a strong hand. The story is told of the abduction 
of Alva Colonnaon the eve of her marriage with Propero Sarelli, when she is carried 
off to his palace at Rome and becomes his slave-mistress. The subsequent events, 
more or less following history or tradition, include the introduction of the dark woman 
of gipsy extraction, who enamours Caesare, and poisons the wine by which the 
Colonna and her old lover Sarelli die. The story closes with a description of 
Caesare's last days and death. This novel has passed through several editions in 

The Price of Friendship, E. EVERETT-GREEN 

Author of " Clive Lorimer's Marriage," " Duckworth's Diamonds," 

" Galbraith of Wynyates," etc., etc. 

Miss Everett -Green has had a remarkable output of novels in the past, but this 
one, her latest, is the longest and strongest standing to her name. It is the story 
of a man who impersonates his friend, from the very best of motives and plunges 
himself into complications and dangers. Like all of this author's tales, it miiaues 
with a startling climax. 


Stanley Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued, 

HOSKEN. Authors of " The Muzzled Ox," " The Swelling of 
Jordan," etc. 

One of the most thrilling stories of mystery, love and adventure which these 
popular collaborators have ever written. It is a vivid, human story, red-hot with 
incident and excitement, the central character being a man, who, after ten years' 
imprisonment for fraud, returns to the world with his past so effectively buried that 
he is known as a man of wealth, a Member of Parliament, and an Advocate for 
Prison Reform. The tale is said to be worthy of Poe or Gaboriau. 

The Split Peas. HEADON HILL 

Author of " Troubled Waters," " A Rogue in Ambush," " The 
Thread of Proof," etc. 

The interest of this story centres in the attempt of a socialistic, time-serving 
Cabinet Minister, aided and abetted by a mysterious foreigner, who poses as a Soho 
revolutionary but is in reality a spy, to undermine the loyalty of the British Army. 
His efforts are frustrated by a young officer of the Guards, with the assistance of two 
lively Eton boys. Mr. Headon Hill is himself an old Etonian, and he has put much 
local colour into his book. 

Captain Hawks, Master Mariner. OSWALD KENDALL 

Admirers of the novels of Mr. W. W. Jacobs should read this. It is a story of three 
men who cannot and will not abide dulness. Though separated superficially by 
discipline and convention, Captain Hawks, Grummet and "Cert'nly" Wilfred are 
brothers "under their skins," and are controlled by the same insatiable desire for 
variety. Their thirst for the unexpected is amply satisfied in the search for an illusive 
cargo of sealskins, purchased without having been seen by Captain Hawks. That 
the crew are nearly drowned, frozen, starved, and smothered, proves that they 
succeeded in a search for a life where things happen. A capital yarn. 

A Star of the East : A Story of Delhi. CHARLES E. 
PEARCE. Author of " The Amazing Duchess," " The Beloved 
Princess," " Love Besieged," " Red Revenge," etc. 

This book completes the trilogy of Mr. Pearce's novels of the Indian Mutiny, 
of which "Love Besieged" and "Red Revenge" were the first and second. The 
scene is laid in Delhi, the city of all others where for the past hundred years the 
traditions of ancient dynasties and the barbaric splendours of the past have been 
slowly retreating before the ever-advancing influence of the West. The conflict of 
passions between Nara, the dancing girl, in whose veins runs the blood of Shah 
Jehan, the most famous of the Kings of Delhi, and Clare Stanhope, born and bred 
in English conventionality, never so pronounced as in the Fifties, is typical of the 
differences between the East and the West. The rivalry of love threads its way 
through a series of exciting incidents, culminating in the massacre and the memorable 
siege of Delhi. 

A Gentlewoman of France. RENE BOYLESVE 

This novel, crowned by the Academy, has had a great vogue in France, twelve 
editions having been sold. It is the story of a provincial girl who makes a marriage 
of convenience with a man who sees in her the best qualities of wifehood and mother- 
hood. The story shows how before great temptation she stands firm and emerges 
chastened but conquering. 

In simple, direct fashion, the sweet and most admirable wife tells her story, and 
it rings extraordinarily true. 


Stanley Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued. 
Gabriel's Garden. CECIL ADAIR 

Author of "The Dean's Daughter," "The Qualities of Mercy," 
"Cantacute Towers," " Francesca," etc. 

When General Gascoign learns that his son Gabriel has cheated at cards, he turns 
him out of the house and leaves him to take refuge in a beautiful West Indian 
Island, which had once belonged to Gabriel's mother. There the young man 
struggles along the thorny road of a great renunciation and a supreme self-sacrifice 
from Darkness into Light. A charming story. 

The Strength of the Hills. HALLIWELL SUTCLIFPE 

Author of "A Benedick in Arcady," " Priscilla of the Good 

Intent," " Through Sorrow's Gates," etc. 

In this novel Mr. Halliwell Sutcliffe returns to the Haworth Moorland which was 
the inspiration of all his earlier work ; it deals with the strenuous life of the moors 
sixty years ago and will rank with his strongest and best works. Those who 
remember our author's "A Man of the Moors," "A Bachelor in Arcady," and 
"A Benedick in Arcady" will not hesitate to follow him anywhere across the 
moorlands in the direction of Arcadia. 



An uproarious piece of American wit which has already scored a great success at 
the Globe Theatre, London. It is from the pen of Mr. Augustin McHugh, who has 
associated himself with Mr. Barton W. Currie in producing it as a novel. Its 
dramatic success in England, as well as in America, has been phenomenal, and as a 
novel it will doubtless receive an equally warm welcome. 

Devil's Brew. MICHAEL W. KAYE 

Author of " The Cardinal's Past," " A Robin Hood of France," etc. 
Jack Armiston, awaking to the fact that life has other meaning than that given it 
by a fox-hunting squire, becomes acquainted with Henry Hunt, the socialist dema- 
gogue, but after many vicissitudes, during which he finds he has sacrificed friends 
and sweetheart to a worthless propaganda, he becomes instrumental in baulking the 
Cato Street Conspirators of their plot to murder the members of the Cabinet, and 
eventually regains his old standing and Pamela. A spirited story. 

Sir Galahad of the Army. HAMILTON DRUMMOND 

Author of "Shoes of Gold," " The Justice of the King," "The 
Three Envelopes," etc. 

A tale of the French retreat from Naples through a defile of the Apenines in the year 
1495. The opening chapters relate the use made by certain restless spirits in both 
camps of a much -needed truce before the battle of Fornovo. 

Thenceforward the development proceeds along unconventional lines, showing 
that the hero, Sir Galahad of the Army, carries out the associations of a nickname 
given in derision, and the grail is followed, though stumblingly and far off at times, 
through the incidents of war. 

Brineta at Brighton. GABRIELLE WODNIL 

Author of " Maggie of Margate." 

An amusing story of a young girl, the paid companion of Lady Bigne, who spends 
a holiday at a shabby, second-rate Brighton boarding-house, and falls into serious 
difficulties through masquerading as her employer. She enj :ys the exhilaration of 
her fellow lodgers' respect, but soon meets trouble with a wealthy young man who is 
anxious to marry a Countess; and at the same time the extra expenses necessitated 
by her assumed grandeur set her farther into the mire of deception. The book, how- 
ever, is very pleasantly brought to a happy ending, and throughout is decidedly 


Stanley Paul's New Six Shil/ing Novels continued. 
The Adventures of Mortimer Dixon. ALICIA 


Mortimer Dixon is a young journalist who is sent by his "chief" in a pursuit 
which takes him into startling adventures in the Chinese Quarter of the East 
End. This is a wholesome, breezy story of adventure, which leaves the reaoer with 
a sense of strong exhilaration. 

Susan and the Duke. KATE HORN 

Author of " Edward and I and Mrs. Honeybun," " The White 
Owl," " The Lovelocks of Diana," etc. 

Lord Christopher Fitzarden is the most delightful of young men, and adopts 
the old family servants destined for the almshouses by his elder brother, the 
cynical Duke of Cheadle. His love story runs at cross purposes, Kit being pas- 
sionately in love with the beautiful but ambitious Rosalind, while he in turn is loved 
by Susan Ringford. Perhaps the most delightful part of the story describes a 
caravanning party in the New Forest, where Cupid haunts every glen. There are 
both fun and pathos in the tale, which should find many delighted readers. 

The Irresistible Mrs. Ferrers. ARABELLA KENEALY 

Author of " The Mating of Anthea," "The Woman-Hunter," etc. 
(6th edition). 

The irresistible Mrs. Ferrers is a fashionable beauty, the idol of London society 
Hostesses fight and plot to get her to their parties. The men of her world vie with 
one another for the privilege of driving her to Hurlingham. And yet no breath of 
scandal touches her. For her ambition is to be known to history as the most 
beautiful and brilliant woman of her day, who charmed all men and succumbed to 
none. But Lord Lygon, a clever and attractive man, estranged from his wife, lays 
siege to her, and the story turns upon the rivalry and struggle of the two women ; of 
the wife who devotedly loves him, and of the other who, though fond of him, is loth 
to sacrifice her dazzling impeccability and to forego her unique position for his sake. 
There are some charming children in the book and some original views on the 
Woman's Question. 

The Three Anarchists. MAUD STEPNEY RAWSON 

Author of "A Lady of the Regency," "The Stairway of 
Honour," " The Enchanted Garden," etc. Third edition. 

There are in this novel a delicate psychology, a true pathos, and a fine perception 
of the importance of the tiny incidents and minor happenings of daily life as they affect 
the human drama. The heroine is the unhappy young wife of an elderly, weak, cruel 
and penurious man, and the hero is a human stepson at inevitable enmity with so 
opposite a father. Both these characters have a craving f.r the fulness of life, the 
woman, with a noble perception of what is right, being intensely desirous of founding 
a real home and making real happiness ; and the young man of warm flesh and blcod 
responding to her pure woman's love and care with more than mere affection. 
There are fine and beautiful things in the book. 

So it is with the Damsel. NORA VYNNE 

Author of " The Pieces of Silver," " The Priest's Marriage," etc. 

The heroine of this striking story is decoyed by White Slave Traffickers, who k^ep 
her in a miserable captivity until by good fortune she escapes. She then overrides 
the dangers that beset her a? a girl with a secret "past," and, joining a league for 
*he suppression of the Traffic in order to rescue a girl friend, finds at last the man 
who will love her and have sympathy for her work. 

Stanley Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued. 

With eight original drawings. 

In this story the hero, falsely accused of murder, escapes to New Zealand, and 
there, after many interesting adventures among the mining camps, is finally 
rearrested and brought back to England, wherein an intensely dramatic scene his 
innocence is proved. The author is himself a prospector well-known both in the 
City and in every mining district the world over, and his story contains many 
revelations of mining life and adventure. 

Mrs. Brett. M. HAMILTON 

Author of " Cut Laurels," " The First Claim," etc. 

The author of "Cut Laurels" may be relied on to write a good novel, and this 
story, the scene of which is laid in India, has been chosen as a particularly clever 
piece of work. The plot is original and one difficult to work out, but the author has 
succeeded with great skill and delicacy. 

Galbraith of Wynyates. E. EVERETT-GREEN 

Author of "Duckworth's Diamonds," " Clive Lorimer's Mar- 
riage," etc. 

The owner of Wynyates has let the property to a relative who is the next-of-kin after 
his only daughter. Warned of the uncertainty of his own life he wills the property 
to his daughter in trust during her minority, and appoints as trustee a relative 
who is tenant of the property. Overhearing a conversation between the family 
lawyer and her uncle, who discuss the wisdom of placing her in the charge of one 
who is directly interested in her death, she imagines all kinds of evil intentions on the 
part of her guardian, and looks with suspicion upon all his counsels for her welfare. 
Love interests lead to complications between ihe heroine, her trustee and her 
lover. "Galbraith of Wynyates" is a very readable book written in the author's 
best style. 

Maggie of Margate. GABRIELLE WODNIL 

Author of " Brineta at Brighton." 

"Maggie of Margate," a beautiful girl with an unobtrusive style which attracted 
nine men out of ten, was in reality an exclusive lady of title, bored because she 
sighed for realism and romance while affianced to a prospective peer. Maggie is 
a delightful creation, and her very erring frailty and duplicity make us pity her the 
more. She cannot break away finally from her social status, but to retain it f^he 
nearly breaks her heart. The man of her fancy, Michael Blair, is the most striking 
figure in the whole story, which hoi, Is us intently from the first page to the last. All 
the world loves a lover, and, therefore, every one will love Michael Blair. 

Bound to Be. WILL HUGO 

This is a first-rate novel and should attract more than the average 
amount of public notice and attention. It is full of quiet and 
genuine humour and clever characterisatiou. 

Selia Medhurst is one of those charming young people who are utterly unequipped 
with the means of earning a living. When suddenly thrown on her own resources, 
she can think of no more happy solution of her difficulties than to go as 
domestic servant in a London flat. There she finds herself under the rule of a 
mistress aged seventy and a master aged thirty, whose legal tie proves less binding 
than the wife, at any rate, might have desired Selia's outlook, therefore, becomes 
more promising, and in due course her highest hopes are fulfilled. 


Stanley Paul's New Six Shilling Novels continued. 
A Wife out of Egypt. NORMA LORIMER 

Author of " The Second Woman," " Catherine Sterling, etc." 
T bis story derives its incidents from the unrest in Egypt. The faults of the British 
brusqueness and Egyptian insincerity and incapacity are sketched with a biting pen, 
and a side of Egyptian life much neglected by novelists the position of the native 
Christian, ' Copt and Syrian ' is described with real knowledge and feeling, It is a 
love story with a charming heroine. 

Casserley's Wife. ESTHER MILLER 

Author of " Living Lies," "When the Heart is Young," etc. 

This novel has been chosen as one likely to appeal pre-eminently to women. It 
is the story of a young man who, having inherited a title and a fortune, conies home 
from India and is betrayed into marriage with a girl whom he imagines to be a friend 
of seven years before. His eventual disillusionment leads to serious complications, 
which, however, lead at last to reconcilement, and trust, and love. 

Found in the Forest. THEODORA WILSON WILSON 

Author of " A Modern Ahab," Bess of Hardendale," etc. 
There is a subtle charm inseparable from this keen study of youth, with all its 
pathos, joy, drollery and nervous passion. The child in the story is the son of ill- 
matched parents who deliberately separate, the boy remaining with his mother until 
her sudden death when he is only ten. The boy is then plunged into a whirlpool of 
gaiety, different altogether from his sombre upbringing ; and his relation to his 
surroundings gives the story its interest. 


Author of " The Second Elopement," " The Third Wife," etc. 
Mrs. Gray, a widow with an only son, comes to live in a quaint old Cathedral 
City, and almost at once becomes the butt ct the scandal-mongers. She develops 
the mystery by holding close the veil that hides her "past," and it is only after ill- 
natured criticism has taken the place of idle gossip, that the veil is Lifted and the 
pureness of the picture made apparent. 

Youth Will be Served. DOLF WYLLARDE 

Author of "The Career of Beauty Darling," "The Riding 
Master," " The Unofficial Honeymoon,' etc. 

Dolf Wyllarde's new novel has for its motive the paramount importance of the 
new generation. Incidentally it deals with the old problem of a wife's duty to her 
husband when he is serving his country abroad in climates which would be dis- 
astrous to her health, and to which she cannot take a delicate baby. As the story 
unfolds, the hardships of the position become still more subtle, for personal inclination 
turns the scale now this way and now that There is no question of sex in this book, 
for it deals very largely with the inevitable sacrifice of the old for the young which 
is a spirit of the age the standing aside of those who have had their day to give place 
to the new generation, though it may chance that those who are sacrificed protest 
that they have never had their rightful chances. 

The Perfidious Marriage and other Plays. 

LEONARD HENSLOWE. Author of " How AYS You ? " Crown 8vo, 
Paper boards, is. 6d. net. 

This volume of one-act plays includes a drama, a comedy, and two farces. Three 
of these plays, which can ba performed without difficulty by amateurs, have been 
produced with considerable success at West End theatres. 



67 My Lord Conceit 

65 Asenath of the Ford 

65 Faustina 

64 Corinna 

63 The Laird o' Cockpen 

62 The City of Enticement 

61 Exotic Martha 

60 Honour's Fetters 

59 Told in the Twilight 

58 Golden Destiny 

57 Love, the Conqueror 

56 Ena's Courtship 

55 A Lover at Large 

54 By the Water's Edge 

53 Ihe Lion's Skin 

52 The Mulberries of Daphno 

51 The Spell of the Jungle 

50 Red Revenga 

49 The Long Hand 

48 The Second Elopement 

47 The Mystery of Roger Bullock 

46 Edelweiss 

45 Only an Actress 

44 The Apple of Eden 

43 Gay Lawless 

42 The Dream and the Woman 

41 Love Besieged 

40 A Benedick in Arcady 

39 Justice of the King 

38 The Man in Possession 

37 A Will in a Well 

36 Edward and I and Mrs. Honeybun 

35 Prlscilla of the Good Intent 

" RITA" 
" RITA " 
" RITA " 



















" RITA" 














Fatal Thirteen 

A Struggle for a Ring 

A Shadowed Life 

The Mystery of Colde Fell 

A Woman's Error 






29 Claribel's Love Story 

28 At the Eleventh Hour 

27 Love's Mask 

26 The Wooing of Rose 

25 White Abbey 

24 Heart of His Heart 

23 The Wonder of Love 

22 Co-Heiresses 

21 The Evolution of Katherinc 

20 The Love of His Life 

19 A Charity Girl 

18 The House of Sunshine 

17 Dare and Do 

16 Beneath a Spell 

15 The Man She Married 

14 The Mistress of the Farm 

13 Little Lady Charles 

12 A Splendid Destiny 

n Cornelius 

10 Traffic 

9 St. Elmo 

8 Indiscretions 

7 The Trickster 

6 The City of the Golden Gate 

5 Shoes of Gold 

4 Adventures of a Pretty Woman 

5 Troubled Waters 

2 The Human Boy Again 
i Stolen Honey 




Each book contains a Recipe for every day in the 
year, including February 29th. In crown 8vo, strongly 
bound, Is. net each. 

The Everyday Vegetable Book. By F. K. 

The Everyday Soup Book. By G. P. 

The Everyday Economical Cookery Book. By 

A. T. K. 

1 'flACOO 

The Everyday Pudding Book. By F. K. 

" If you want a tasty recipe for every day in the year, you can do nothing better 
than purchase a copy of the Everyday Pudding Book."' Referee. 

The Everyday Savoury Book. By MARIE WORTH 

" Nothing could be clearer." School Guardian. 

Cakes and Ales. A memory of many meals, the whole 
interspersed with various Recipes, more or less original, and 
Anecdotes, mainly veracious. By EDWARD SPENCER (' Nathaniel 
Gubbins '). Crown 8vo, 4th edition, as. 6d. net. 

Saturday Review : " Sportsmen, stockbrokers, and others with large appetites, 
robust yet sensitive palates, and ample means, will' find it invaluable when they 
are ordering the next little dinner for a select party of male friends." 

The Diner's Out Yade Mecum. A Pocket " What's 

What" on the Manners and Customs of Society Functions, etc., 
etc. By ALFRED H. MILES. Author of "The New Standard 
Elocutionist," etc. In fcap. 8vo (6 by 3^), cloth bound, round 
corners, is. 6d. net. Leather, as. net. 

Intended to help the diffident and inexperienced at Dinners, Teas, 
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My Own Reciter. By ALFRED H. MILES. Author of 

" The Diner's-Out Vade Mecum," etc. Crown 8vo, is. net. 

"The Ballads have colour, warmth and movement. Mr. Miles is a poet of the 
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Cole's Fun Doctor. One of the two funniest books in 

the world. By E. W. COLE. 384 pp., crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d. 
The mission of mirth is well understood. " Laugh and Grow Fat " is 
a common proverb, and the healthiness of humour goes without saying. 

Cole's Fun Doctor 2ND SERIES. The other ot the 

two funniest books in the world. By E. W. COLE. 440 pp., crown 
8vo, cloth, 2S. 6d 

Dr. Blues had an extensive practice until the Fun Doctor set up 
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Stanley Caul's 

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Adair, Cacii 

Cantaoute Towers 


Gabriel's Garden 

The Qualities of Meroy 
Adcock, A. St. John 

A Man with a Past 
Anderson, A. J. 

His Magnificence 
Andom, R. 

Cheerfol Craft 

Neighbours of Mine. 70 Illustra- 
JLirery, Harold 

A Week at the Sea 

Every Dog His Day 
Barclay, Marguerite SL Armiger 

The Activities of Lavie Jatt 
Barton, Hester 

The Baron of Dl Fame 

Basin, Rene 

The Children of Alsaoe 

The Redeemer 
Bedford. H. Louisa 

His Will and Her Way 

Maids in Many Moods 
Seeaton, Li. J. 

Dagobert's Children 
Bett, Henry 

The Watch Night 
Bower, B. M. 

Lonesome Land 

Boylesve, Rene 

A Gentlewoman of France 
Broughton, Rhoda 

Between Two Stools 
Bussell, Dorothea 

The New Wood Nymph 
Cambridge, Ada 

The Retrospect 
Cameron, Charlotte 

A Durbar Bride 

A Passion in Morocco 
Colmore, G. 

Suffragette Sally 
Constance, Lady 

Because of a Kiss 
Cotes, Mrs. Everard 
(Sara Jeannette Duncan) 

The Consort 

Currie.Barton W., & Augustine 

Officer 666 
Danby, Frank 

A Babe in Bohemia 
Deakin, Ralph 

The Broken Butterfly 
Diehl, Alice M. 

A Mysterious Lover 

Confessions of Perpetua 

The Marriage of Lenore 

Their Wedded Wife 

"Draig Glas" 

Madge Carrington and her Welsh 

Drummond, Hamilton 

The Justice of the King 

Sir Galahad of the Army 

The Three Envelopes 
Dudeney, Mrs. Henry 

Married when Suited 
Elliot, Anne 

The Memoirs of Mimosa 
Ellis, Mrs. Havelock 

The Imperishable Wing 
Enoch, C. Reginald, F.R.G.S. 

The Promoter's Pilgrimage 
Everett-Green, E. 

The Price of Friendship 

Clive Lorimer's Marriage 

Duckworth's Diamonds 

Galbraith of Wynyates 
Flowerdew, Herbert 

Mrs. Gray's Past 

The Third Wife 

The Villa Mystery 
Formont, Maxima 

The She-Wolf 
Gerard, Dorothea 

The Unworthy Pact 

Exotic Martha 

The City of Enticement 
Gilchrist, R. Murray 

Damosel Croft 
Gill, Anthony Kirby 

The Marble Aphrodite 
Haggard, Lt. Col. Andrew C. P. 

The Romance of Bayard 

Two Worlds : A Romance 
Haines, Donal Hamilton 

The Return of Pierre 
Hamel, Frank 

A Lady of the Garter 
Hamilton, M. 

Mrs. Brett 
Hawker, Pellew 

God Disposes 
Hill, Headon 

The Split Peas 

The Thread ol Proof 
Horn, Kate 

Columbine at the Fair 

The Bride of Love 

The Lovelocks of Diana 

The Mulberries of Daphne 

The White Owl 

Susan and the Duke 
Hugo, Will 

Bound to Be 
Hunt, Violet 

The Celebrity'! Daughter 

The Doll 
James, A. E. 

Her Majesty the Rapper 
Kaye, Michael W. 

A Robin Hood of France 

Devil's Brew 

Stanley Paul's Six Shilling Novels continued. 

Kendal, Oswald 

Captain Hawks, Master Mariner 
Kenealy, Annesley 

The Poodle- Vv oman 
Kenealy, Arabella 

The irresistible Mrs. Ferrers 

The Woman -Hunter 
Koebel, W. K. 

Hodson's Voyage 
Lamport, R. Fifleld 

Veeni the Master 
Lloyd, J. A. T. 

The Three Destinies 
Lorimer, Norm a 

A Wife out ol Egypt 

The Second Woman 
Lurgan, Lester 

The Ban 
Magnay, Sir William 

Paul Burden 

The Fruits of Indiscretion 

The Long Hand 
Mansfield, Ernest 

Ralph Raymond 
Marshall, Archibald H. 

The Honour of the Clintoni 

The Mystery of Redmarsh Farm 
McEvoy, Charles 

Brass Faces 
Meade, L. T. 

Love's Cross Roads 

Miller, Esther 

Casserley's Wife 
Mills Malet, Vincent 

The Meteoric Benson 
Muir, Ward 

When we are Rich 

The Amazing Mutes 
Kesbit, B. 

Paarce. Charles E. 

The Eyes of Alicia 

A Star of the East: A Story of 

Red Revenge : A Story of Cawnpore 
Rawson, Maud Stepney 

The Three Anarchists 
Ray, Anna Chapin 

A Woman with a Purpose 

A Grey Life 
de Robert, Louis 

Life's Last Gift 
Sabatini, Rafael 

The Strolling Saint 

The Justice of the Duke 
Serao, Matilde 

The Desire of Life 
Sheed, George C. 

The Incorrigible Dukana 

Sherren, Wilkinson 

Two Girls and a Mannikla 
Shiers Mason, Mrs. 

The Loves of Stella 
Shirley, Joy 

Opal of October 
Sladen, Douglas 

The Curse of the Nile 

The Unholy Estate 
Snowden, Keighley 

Bright Shame 

The Free Marriage 
Stanton, Coralie and Heath 


Called to Judgment 

The Swelling of Jordan 

The Muzzled Ox 
Stevenson, Philip L. 

Love in Armour 
Stewart, Newton Y. 

Across the Gulf 

The Cardinal 
Storey, Harold 

The Ascent of the Bostocks 
Stourton, John de, and Oliv 

The King's Master 
Stuart, G. millers 

The Lost Destiny 
Sutcliffe, Halliwell 

The Strength of the Hills 
Symons, Beryl 

Prince and Priest 
Taylor, Mary Imlay 

The Lotus Lantern 
Trevor, St. John 

Our Guests 
Yahey, H. L. 

A Prisoner in Paradise 

Camilla Forgetting Herself 
Yynne, Nora 

So it is with the Damsel 
Wardle. Jane 

Hunt the Slipper 

Where Truth Lies 
Whishaw, Fred 

An Empress in Love 
Williams, H. Noel 

Tainted Gold 
Wilson. Theodora Wilson 

Found in the Forest 

A Modern Ahab 
Wodnil, Gabrielle 

Maggie of Margate 

Brineta at Brighton 
Wyllarde, Dolf 

The Career of Beauty Darling 

Youth will be served 
Wynne, May 

The Destiny of Claude 

The Red Fleur De Lys 

Brave Brigands 

The Retrospect. ADA CAMBRIDGE. Crown 8vo, cloth gilt. 
Woman Adrift. The Menace of Suffragism. HAROLD OWKN. 
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The Sweep of the Sword. From Marathon to Mafeking (A 
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permission to Field-Marshal Earl Roberts, V.C. In large 
crown 8vo (over 600 pages), with a photogravure frontispiece. 
16 full-page illustrations of world-famous battle pictures, printed 
on art paper, and nearly 150 illustrations in the text, handsomely 
bound in cloth gilt, with special design. 

Our National Songs. ALFRED H. MILES. With Pianoforte 
Accompaniments. Full music size. Cloth, gilt edges. 

5/- NET 

The Insanity of Genius, and the General Inequality of Human 
Faculty Physiologically Considered by J. F. NISBET. Sixth edition, 
with an introduction by BERNARD HOLLANDER, M.D. Crown 8vo. 

The White Slave Market. MRS. ARCHIBALD MACKIRDV 
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Western Men with Eastern Morals. W. N. WILLIS. With 
a preface by R. A. BENNETT, Editor of Truth. Crown 8vo. 

Gaiety and George Grossmith : Random Reflections of an 
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French Musio in the Nineteenth Century. ARTHUR HERVEY. 
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and Coast Fishing (with special reference to Calm Water 
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Diners a Deux : Memoirs of a Maltre D'H6tel. S. BEACH CHESTER. 

Crown 8vo. 
Love Letters of a Japanese. Being the correspondence of a 

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Second edition, with an Introduction by Dr. MARIE C. STOPES. 

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The History of Garrards, Crown Jewellers, 1721 1911. Printed 
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The ABC about Collecting (Second Edition). SIR JAMES 
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More about Collecting. SIR JAMES YOXALL, M.P. Large 

crown 8vo, with over too illustrations. 
JL B C of Collecting Old English China. J. F. BLACKER. 

Large cr. 3vo, profusely illustrated with numerous line and 64 pages 

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4 o 

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The A B C of Artistic Photography. A. J. ANDERSON. 

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A B C of Collecting Old English Pottery. J. F. BLACKER. 

Large crown Svo, illustrated with about 400 line and 32 paget of 

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A B C of Collecting Old Continental Pottery. J. F. 

BLACKER. Large crown Svo, fully illustrated with line and half- 

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ABC Guide to Mythology. HELEN A. CLARKE. Large 

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ABC Guide to Musio. DANIEL GREGORY MASON. Large 

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ABC Guide to Pictures. CHARLES H. CAFFIN. Large crown 
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ABC Guide to American History. HENRY W. ELSON. 

Standard Concert Repertory, and other Concert Pieces. 
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The Production of the Printed Catalogue. The Prepara- 

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Houses, with a Chapter on the Monotype Machine, and an Appen- 
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Anomalies of the English Law: "The Law in the Dock." 
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The Lords of the Devil's Paradise. G. SIDNEY PATER- 
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Foj: Boys and Girls. Large crown Svo, 384 pages, fully illustrated. 

In the Lion's Mouth. Fierce Fights with Wild Men, Wild 
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Where Duty Calls ; or Danger Stories of Courage and Adventure. 
coloured plates. A Book for Girls. 

Twixt Life and Death on Sea and Shore, A Book for Boys. 
Heroines of the Home and the World of Duty. A Book for Girls. 
A Book cf Brave Boys All the World Over. 
A Book of Brave Girls At Home and Abroad. 
In the Teeth of Adventure Up and Down the World. 
The Boy's Book of Sports, Pastimes, Hobbies and Amusements. 

The Case for Protection. ERNEST EDWIN WILLIAMS, F.R.S.S. 
The Library of Elocution. Edited by ALFRED H. MILES. 

4/- NET 
Coloured Designs for Wall and Ceiling Decoration. 


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Samphire. LADY SYBIL GRANT. Crown 8vo, cloth gilt. 
Woman in Music. GEORGE P. UPTON. In small crown 8vo, 
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The Practical Art of Graining and Marbling. JAMES 
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The Human Machine. An Inquiry into the Diversity of Human 
Faculty in its Bearings upon Social Life, Religion, Education and 
Politics. J. F. NISBBT. Fifth and New Edition. Crown 8vo. 

Original Poems. By ALFRED H. MILES. Crown 8vo, cloth gilt, 

with photogravure portrait frontispiece. 

" The poems cover a wide range of thought and emotion. Many of the lyrics are of tenderness and charm. The ballads have colour, warmth and movement 
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The Aldine Reciter. Modern Poetry for the Plattorm, the Home, 
and the School. With Hints on Public Speaking, Elocution, Action, 
Articulation, Pitch, Modulation, etc. By ALFRED H. MILES. Crown 
4to, 676 pages, cloth gilt. 

CARPENTER). MRS. HAVELOCK ELLIS. Illustrated with 4 
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The Domestic Handy. ALFRED H. MILES. Large crown 8vo, 
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Practical Gilding, Bronzing and Lacquering. FREDK. 
SCOTT-MITCHELL. 175 pages, crown Svo. 

Practical Stencil Work. FREDK. SCOTT-MITCHELL. 
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Decorators' Symbols, Emblems and Devices. GUY CADOGAN 
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The Painters' and Builders' Pocket Book. (New Edition.) 

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The Beau. Illustrated with photogravures and line drawings. 
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The Welshman's Reputation. By " AN ENGLISHMAN." In crown 
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A Garland of Verse for Young People. Edited by ALFRED 
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The Lord of Creation. T. W. H. CROSLAND. 

The Egregious English. ANGUS MCNEILL. Crown Svo. 

Monte Carlo. Facts and Fallacies. SIR HIRAM S. MAXIM. 
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The Flowing Bowl. A Treatise on Drinks of all kinds and of all 
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EDWARD SPENCER (' Nathaniel Gubbins '). Crown Svo. 

Cakes and Ales. A memory of many meals, the whole interspersed 
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Pluto and Proserpine. A Poem. JOHN SUMMERS. In crown Svo. 

This is my Birthday. ANITA BARTLE. With an introduction 
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A birthday autograph book containing quotations from the greatest 

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Cole's Fun Doctor. First Series. One of the two funniest books 
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Cole's Fun Doctor. Second Series. Tha other of the two 
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A White Australia Impossible. E.W.CoL*. Crown Svo, cloth. 

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What Germany Wants. W. N. WILLIS. Crown Svo, illustrated. 
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Cole's Intellect Sharpener. . W. COLS. Demy 410, with 
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Federation of the Whole World. Edited by E. W. COLE 
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Author of " A Jester's Jingles." Crown 8vo, cloth gilt. 

A Book of Short Plays. MRS. DB COURCY LAFFAN. Crown 3ro. 

Zinc Oxide and its uses. J. CRUICKSHANK SMITH, B.Sc., 
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The Diner's-Out Yade Mecum. ALFRED H. MILES. In 
fcap. 8vo, leather (see also 1/6). 

Phases, Mazes and Crazes of Loire. Compiled by MINNA 
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Home Occupations for Boys and Girls. BERTHA JOHNSTOK. 
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How to Train Children. EUMA CHURCHMAN HEWITT. Small 
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Sugar Round the Pill. E. W. COLI. A cyclopedia of Fib, 
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Crown 8vo, cloth, pictorial wrapper, 2s. net each. 

1 The Unholy Estate (5th edition). DOUGLAS SLADEN 

2 Between Two Stools (sth edition). RHOBA BROUGHTON 

3 The Consort (srd edition). MRS. EVERARD COTES (SARA JEANETTE DUNCAN) 

4 The Woman-Hunter (4th edition). ARABELLA KENEALY 

5 The Doll (4th edition). VIOLET HUNT 
7 The Justice of the Duke (4th edition). RAFAEL SABATINI 
3 Neighbours of Mine. 70 illustrations (2nd edition). R. ANDOU 
9 Ruffles (2nd edition). L. T. MEADE 

to The Three Anarchists (6th edition). MAUD STEPNEY RAWSON 

11 The Irresistible Mrs. Ferrers (6th edition). ARABELLA KENBALY 

12 The Love-Locks of Diana (and edition). KATE HORN 

13 The Career of Beauty Darling (gth editiou), DOI.F WYLLARDE 

14 The White Owl (and edition). KATB HORN 


i5 Th Free Marriage (and edition). 

18 The Artistic Temperament (2nd edition). 

19 Countess Daphne (revised edition). 

71 The Bungalow under the Lake (2nd edition). 

22 Glive Lorimer s Marriage (and edition). 

23 Pretty Barbara (and edition). 

4 Impertinent Reflections (5th edition). 

25 Lying Lips (2nd edition). 

6 The Biding Master (6th edition). 

28 The Lion's Skin (2nd edition). 

29 Young Nick and Old Nick (and edition). 

30 Love, the Thief (sth edition). 
51 Tropical Tales (7th edition). 

32 The Cheerful Knave (4th edition). 

34 Love Besieged (3rd edition). 

Woman Adrift, 
gism (3rd edition). 

The Menace of Bnffra- 



" RITA" 














1/6 NET 

The Diner's-Out Yad Mecura. A pocket " What's What " on 
the manners and customs of Society Functions, Toasts and 
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Leather, as. net. 


With Photogravure Frontispiece. Paper, is. 6d. net. Cloth, 
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With pictorial paper covers, in. net. 

1 The Widow to say Nothing of the Man (3rd edition). HELEN ROWLAND 

2 Thoroughbred (2nd edition). FRANCIS DODSWORTH 

3 The Spell of the Jungle (2nd edition). ALICE PERRIN 

4 The Sins of Society (Drury Lane Novels) (2nd edition). CECIL RALEIGH 

5 The Marriages of Mayfair (ditto) (2nd edition). E. KEBLE CHATTERTON 

6 A Ten Pound Penalty (2nd edition). H. NOEL WILLIAMS 


A Ten Pound Penalty (2nd edition). 

8 Gay Lawless (4th edition). 

9 A Professional Rider (2nd edition), 
ic The Devil in London (2nd edition). 

11 The Unspeakable Scot (ii7th thousand). 

12 Lovely Woman (g8th thousand). 




Stanley Paul's One Shilling Net No vefs continued. 

13 Fatal Thirteen (2nd edition). WILLIAM LE QUEUX 

14 Brother Rogue and Brother Saint Tou GALLON 

15 The Death Gamble GEO. R. SIMS 

16 The Mystery of Roger Bullock TOM GALLOH 

17 Bardelys, the Magnificent (4th edition). RAFAEL SABATINI 

18 Billicks (2nd edition). A. ST. JOHN ADCOCK 

19 The Cabinet Minister a Wife GEO. R. SIMS 

20 The Dream and the Woman (and edition). TOM GALLON 

21 The Ghost Pirates (2nd edition). W. HOPE HODGSOM 

22 The Garden of Life (2nd edition). KATB HOKM 

23 No. 5 John Street (igth edition). RICHARD WHITEING 

24 Dr. Phillips : A Maida-Vale Idyll (3rd edition). FRANK DAMBY 

25 The Perfidious Welshman (ioth edition). "DRAIG GLAS " 

26 America through English Eyes (and edition). "RITA" 

27 Tropical Tales (8th edition). DOLF WYLLARDE 

28 A Babe in Bohemia (i2th edition). FRANK DANBV 

29 Young Nick and Old Nick (srd edition). S. R. CROCKETT 

30 The Cheerful Knave (5th edition). E. KEBLE HOWARD 
3c The Mystery of Redmarsh Farm (3rd edition) ARCHIBALD MARSHALL 

32 The Artistic Temperament (4th edition). JANE WARDLE 

33 In Fear of a Throne (3rd edition). R. AMDOM 

34 The Riding Master (7th edition). DOLF WYLLARDE 

35 Lying Lips (sth edition). WILLIAM LE QUEUX 

36 Maggie of Margate (2nd edition). GABRIELLE WODNIL 

37 The Red Fleuv-de-Lys (and edition). MAY WYNNE 

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A tasty recipe for every day in the 
year. By F. K. 


A recipe for every day in the year. 


BOOK. A recipe for each day ef 

the year. By F. K. 

A recipe for each day in the year. 

By G. P. 


Drawing Room Entertainments. New and Original Mono- 
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My Own Reciter. BY ALFRED H. MILBS. Crown 8vo. 

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Paul's 'Siraplicode.' M. LEVY. Crown 8vo. 

Favourite Songs for the Contralto Voice. Edited by 
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The Coming Dominion of Rome in Britain. By the 

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The Aldine Reciters. Edited by ALFRED H. MILES. In crown 

4to, double columns, 128 pages. Price 6d. net each. 




The New Reciter Series. By Various Authors. Edited by 
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Librarian Series of Reprints. 



ATION. An Outline of its Develop- 
ment and Work. W. BEMSON 

National Value and Preservation. 




The Al Reciter Series. By Various Authors. Edited by 

ALFRED H. MILES. Each in large folio. Price 6d. each. 
The A 1 Reciter. 
The A 1 Reader. 
The A 1 Book of Readings. 



Albansi, Madame 

94 Heart of His Heart 
3 The Wonder of Love 
Brame, Charlotte 

33 A Struggle for a Ring 
\2 A Shadowed Life 

31 The Mystery of Colde Fell 
30 A Woman's Error 
g Claribel's Love Story 
28 At the Eleventh Hour 
Burgin, G. B. 

7 The Trickster 
Drummond, Hamilton 

39 Justice of the King 

5 Shoes of Gold 
Everett Green, H. 

92 Co-Heiresses 

6 The City of the Golden Gate 
37 A Will in a Well 

Flowerdew, Herbert 

48 The Second Elopement 
Gallon, Tom 

47 The Mystery of Roger Bullock 

42 The Dream and the Woman 
Gerard, Dorothea 

62 The City of Enticement 
61 Exotic Martha 
Hamilton, Cosmo 

8 Indiscretions 
Hill, Headon 

3 Troubled Waters 
Horn, Kate 

52 The Mulberries of Daphne 
36 Edward and I and Mrs. Honey- 
James, Ada and Dudley 

i Stolen Honey 
Le Queux, William 

34 Fatal Thirteen 
Magnay, Sir William 

49 The Long Hand 
Mathers, Helen 

43 Gay Lawless 
Pasture, Mrs. Henry de la 

u Cornelius 
Pearce, Charles E. 

50 Red Revenge 
41 Love Besieged 

Perrin, Alice 

51 The Spell of the Junglt 
Phillpotts, Eden 

2 The Human Boy Again 

Ray, P. Quinton 

59 Told in the Twilight 
58 Golden Destiny 

57 Love, the Conqueror 
56 Ena's Courtship 
55 A Lover at Large 
54 By the Water's Edge 
" Rita " 

67 My Lord Conceit 

Asenath of the Ford 



The Laird o' Cockpen 


Only an Actress 

The Man in Possession 

Rowlands, Effie Adelaide 

27 Love's Mask 

a6 The Wooing of Rose 

5 White Abbey 

20 The Love of His Life 
19 A Charity Girl 

18 The House of Sunshine 

17 Dare and Do 

1 6 Beneath a Spell 

15 The Man She Married 

14 The Mistress of the Farm 

13 Little Lady Charles 

12 A Splendid Destiny 

Sabatini, Rafael 

53 The Lion's Skin 
Sutcliffe, Halli well 

40 A Benedick in Arcady 

35 Priscilla of the Good Intent 
Thurston, E. Temple 

44 The Apple of Eden 

21 The Evolution of Katherine 
10 Traffic 

Warden, Florence 

4 Adventures of a Pretty Woman 
Wilson, Augusta ETans 

9 St. Elmo 
Wynne. May 

60 Honour's Fetters 

3d. NET 
The Budget and Socialism of Mr. Lloyd George. J. 

BUCKINGHAM POPE. In crown 8vo, paper, 3d. net, 
French Gardening without Capital. E. KENNEDY ANTON. 
In medium 8vo, paper, 3d. net ; cloth, gd. net. 

The Commentator. The real Conservative weekly. One Penny 






This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 

on the date to which renewed. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 

APR 8-196879 

aEt cii^ OK 2 -76 


JN 7 1977 


JUN 'SR-f*. 

^*l^ *\ n \9 

RECE ,veo 

2'67-9P W 

-*. A. *k.i o,P * 


LD 21A-60m-10,'65 

General Library e 
University of California 


77 1